MetLife Success Story: Gerardo Ramos
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (September 17, 2014) - The MGA Foundation’s cornerstone internship program, GOLFWORKS, provides meaningful summer working experiences at Met Area clubs to more than 230 deserving high school students each year. Now in its 20th year, the success of the GOLFWORKS program can be attributed to the willingness of MGA member clubs to hire very deserving teenagers, many of whom have never considered working at a golf club, like second-year intern Gerardo Ramos, who works at The Apawamis Club in Rye, N.Y. Ramos, 17, is currently attending St. Raymond’s High School for Boys in the Bronx, where he lives.
Ramos loves to stay active and enjoys working hard, which makes his GOLFWORKS internship at Apawamis a perfect fit. Some of his main duties include checking the water coolers, setting up the golf carts for the members, greeting and helping members at the bag drop, and maintaining the driving range’s supply of golf balls and tees.
When Ramos graduates from high school, he has some big plans in store.
“I would love to go to a four-year college,” he told the MGA. “But if I am fortunate enough to get in, I am currently looking at a special seven-year program where I would come out with a bachelor’s in science and a medical degree. I would really like to become a cardiovascular surgeon, an anesthesiologist or a neurologist.”
Gerardo’s GOLFWORKS internship has prepared him for his future, establishing and improving a set of valuable life skills, like responsibility.
“I have learned to always be ready for anything that comes my way,” he said. “If I need to wake up early for work, I just go straight to sleep when I go home. If I am lucky, sometimes my parents are able to give me a ride to work but if they can’t, I need to make sure I have enough time to get to the train, which requires almost two hours.”
Ramos also had the opportunity to enhance his communication skills by interacting with members. While intimidating at first, it has become second nature to him.
“I learned how to talk to members and be courteous and I’ve even gained confidence when it comes to communicating to successful adults,” Ramos said. “I know these skills will help me out when I need to network with some people.”
Working hard has prepared Ramos to get into good habits, like always staying busy at work and knowing that there is always something to do, even if the club isn’t particularly busy. Apawamis has been a great fit for Gerardo, who enjoys the comfort of a warm and welcoming staff, including his supervisor, Assistant Caddie Master Tom McKivett.
“I’ve made a good connection with Tom,” said Ramos. “We can talk about anything at work and we will have conversations about college and my future. He has even advised me about what professions are good and what to stay away from. Even though he’s my boss, he is also my friend.”
Ramos has certainly enjoyed this summer working at Apawamis and wouldn’t change anything about that. When this golf season comes to an end, Ramos will leave with a lot of new experiences and some great memories.
“It feels amazing to work here because instead of just being at home and doing nothing, I get the opportunity to go out and work at a great place like Apawamis,” he said. “The people here are amazing, they are so open and welcoming. Some people may not like their job, but I love mine – and at the end of the day I always have a smile on my face.”
Founded in 1994, the MGA Foundation’s GOLFWORKS program is designed to give its participants—high school aged students—exposure to the many career opportunities within the golf industry by providing meaningful summer work experiences. The young adults who participate in GOLFWORKS complete an internship in an environment that revolves around golf, which in itself can teach the lessons of honor, integrity and tradition and provides an activity that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. In addition, GOLFWORKS provides a good salary as well as networking opportunities to its interns, and a way for interns to learn the skills necessary to pursue their career interests.