Communications Alumnus Finds his Course
April 6, 2011
With the Masters Golf Tournament in full swing this week, DJ Piehowski '10, Assistant Editor at Golfweek, has been busy. During the last week, Piehowski has done everything from the ordinary to the extraordinary when it comes to covering golf -he even played the new Tiger Woods video game all day in order to write a review for the website. Last month, Piehowski covered the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he interviewed Tiger Woods for the first time.
Piehowski is living proof that dedication, persistence, and hard work can earn a student that dream career or internship. While working at WeaverRidge Golf Club in Peoria his sophomore year, Piehowski heard that Golfweek was in need of summer interns.
"Like most college students, the word 'internship' caught my ear, especially since it was at 'Golfweek,' a magazine I had read as a kid," Piehowski said. "I applied for the internship that summer and was unsuccessful, but one of the editors told me to keep in touch. Over that next year, I began writing sports for 'The Scout' and for the 'Pekin Daily Times,' in addition to a few other internships. I kept all my clips and would occasionally send the better ones to that editor."
His hard work paid off because the next summer Piehowski landed the internship and moved to Orlando, Fla., where he wrote, reported, and learned how Golfweek.com functioned.
Piehowski's diverse job experience while in Peoria helped him gain assorted skills and knowledge, which prepared him for the rigorous days at Golfweek.
"At each of the jobs I had in Peoria, I had editors and bosses that really made sure I got everything I wanted out of each position, meaning I was able to learn every facet of each of job I had and make myself a more well-rounded employee," Piehowski said. "That goes for professors, too. The small class sizes and teacher-student ratio kind of speak for themselves and they were a huge asset to have."
One of Piehowski's favorite areas to cover is junior golf. Doing this, he can meet the up-and-coming golfers before they become professionals. Piehowski's most meaningful and difficult assignment was a story about a junior golfer who made it into a golfing event only because someone else withdrew. Later that night, Piehowski found out the boy's brother had also been a national junior golfer, but had died in a car accident a few years before.
With many college students wondering how to get their dream job, students can look to Piehowski for inspiration. Piehowski owes most of his success to the various opportunities he seized at Bradley.
"I think a lot of students get very caught up in the concept of networking and see it as a magic ticket to a job," Piehowski said. "I'm not trying to downplay the importance of making connections at all, but it seems like they can only take you so far if you don't have the experience to ultimately push yourself into that next tier. That's why I think it's important to not only get involved in jobs and internships, but to get your hands in as much as possible while there."