Summer Intern Update: Belle Haven Yacht Club

Tamara Ana Santos
Marketing, College of Business, Policy, and Analytics
Belle Haven Yacht Club - Tennis Pro Shop Manager

This May 25th I started working at a Yacht Club called Belle Haven in Greenwich, CT. I found this job through connections since one of my really good friends worked at a club nearby last summer. She told me about how she had an amazing experience where she learned new skills and also was able to meet great people and have important contacts for the future. This really caught my attention, also because I have never been to this side of the country and I love going to new places.

I have heard how many applicants the clubs get for summer jobs so I started applying and sending many emails to clubs around the area in February. I was lucky enough to get call back from Belle Haven which is one of the most prestigious clubs. From my experience with tennis, I was able to get the manager job at the tennis shop.

It was nerve rocking coming to a new place knowing I would be working with people I’ve never met before. The day I arrived at the airport my boss Paul was nice enough to pick me up and drove me to the house that I would be staying for the summer. I am very thankful that one of the members offered me to stay at their house for the summer without ever meeting me before. These little things I went through the first day helped me realized the kind of people I would be working for the summer and made me feel very comfortable.  

On my first day, my boss Paul showed me the tennis shop which is in front of the tennis courts, then he introduced me to the main coaches of the club who were also very nice and welcoming, surprisingly they were all internationals from France, Poland and Greece so it has been great getting to know new cultures as well. I feel some kind of similarity between the tennis team at Rockhurst and the coaches at Belle Haven. It feels so great to be able to work in the environment that I love the most which is tennis.

One of the very first things I had to learn was how to use the software to keep track of all the sales. There’s a variety of things the members can get in the tennis shop like shirts, skirts, shorts, dresses, visors, hats, racquets, strings and everything else you can imagine related to the sport. A fun fact about this club is that everything is white because that’s the dressing etiquette of the club (very fancy). I also to need to make sure everything in the store is completely clean including the lockers for the members. I also do scheduling for the courts and schedule of private lessons for the coaches, scheduling for clinics and events going on including all the different tournaments.

I am also using excel for a very long part of the day. Besides keeping track of the sales in the software I also make sure some of them are in excel to have a backup of them in case the software crashes, because we’ve been having some issues with it lately. Another task I have on a daily basis is answering every email that comes to the tennis shop. Making sure I am in contact with every member if they need a court or need a private lesson to be scheduled. Through email I also promote the upcoming tournaments of the month to make sure members are aware and sign up on time.

Besides all the good things I have enjoyed and loved about my summer internship, I have also experienced some difficulties and areas to improve. I didn’t consider myself as a highly organized person but it is the first quality this job requires. I didn’t use to have a calendar where I can write appointments, due dates and reminders but now I do. Because I was a little confused in the beginning I made some mistakes of thinking that I could keep it all in my head and wouldn’t need to write it down. However, I got in some trouble because I would forget to write down the name of the people who scheduled a lesson or even ask for a phone number. Also with the stringing are I wouldn’t put down a paper with the specifications needed to string.

As far as career opportunities go, this experience has helped me to be able to know what it would be like if I were to run my own business. I know how to be organized, manage a busy scheduled, keep customers happy, check the merchandise and understand what costumers like, keep the store clean, as well as managing other people’s schedule too.

This experienced has exceeded my initial expectations. I set some goals before I started which were to have everything on time and be open to criticism. I was just excited in the beginning about the place I would be working at and not so much about what I would actually be doing by just sitting on a desk. I was comparing it to my internship from last summer where I was working in a company where the culture wasn’t good and didn’t enjoy at all. However, this environment is so much better! I love the people I am working with and I love the sport so I have learned that to be able to enjoy your job in any area, you need to love what you do.