Kayla Jones, a senior member of the nationally ranked Seminole women’s golf team, is enjoying her senior season on the golf course and in the business world. She is helping the Seminoles compete for a spot in the NCAA Championship tournament and learning while completing an internship in the athletics marketing office at Florida State.
What are you hoping to accomplish on the golf course this semester?
“On the course I hope that my game keeps moving in a direction that allows my scoring average to continue to decrease so that I can reach my goals for the semester. Of course, I would also like to play in my final National Championship alongside my teammates!”
Off the course, you are a marketing student. How difficult has it been budgeting time for golf, class, and leisure? Did it take time to get used to balancing your schedule, over the course of your career here?
“It was definitely difficult at first to balance my time but as I learned more about myself and my work load I was able to prioritize and manage my time for school, golf, and leisure. I am a firm believer that balance is important in order to live a successful life so I try to make sure that I include time away from golf and school as well.”
With graduation right around the corner, have you started planning for life after Florida State? Do you plan on pursuing ventures beyond golf?
“Yes, I am currently working toward my future which is both scary and exciting at the same time. I definitely hope to keep playing golf beyond college in the professional world. I’m looking forward to seeing what else this game has in store for me.”
You are spending the semester in a marketing internship within the department of athletics. Is it fair to say that you have a bit of a unique perspective to offer since you are also an athlete here? Has that helped you with your marketing internship in any way? What do you feel like you can offer as both a student-athlete and a marketing intern at Florida State?
“As both a marketing intern and a student-athlete here, I feel like I am able to give the student-athletes a voice in the marketing decisions that are made. It is interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes of all of our events and I think that actually playing a sport here has given me a unique perspective and I am able to share the ideas I have.”
With four seniors on the team, the golf team has a veteran roster. What is it like having so many seasoned players as teammates? What advantages does it provide?
“We have been playing together for quite some time so I think that we really know each other’s game well. We also have had A LOT of tournament golf experience now so we are more mature and can handle pressure better than we have before. I also think that knowing a lot of the golf courses we play in our season offers a huge advantage to us.”
Has your approach to your daily life changed at all with graduation nearing? Is there more of an urge to succeed?
“I am not sure that there is more of an urge but rather a lack of holding back. There is really nothing to lose at this point so might as well go out with a bang!”
Over the past four years, what or who has been your rock, or the thing that has pushed you to compete at such a high level?
“My teammates have definitely been my rock. They are my best friends and are always there for me no matter what. I think we have an amazing balance on the team of accountability and support where we push each other to be the best we can but we also pick each other up when we fall.”
Prior to college, you taught yourself how to play the piano, guitar, and ukulele. Do you still play any of these instruments? If so, do you use them as an escape from the stresses of school/golf? What else do you use, or do to relax?
“I still get to play a good bit of guitar when I have time to so that is definitely what I do to relax. Otherwise being outside, working out, and being with my friends allows me to release a lot of stress.”
What are some of your fondest memories of your time here? Most memorable?
“Some of my fondest memories have to include the places I have gotten to visit. Our last day in Oregon is one of my favorites that I can think of when we went to see the Pacific Ocean and ended up riding dune buggies! Another one of my favorite was this past fall in Pebble Beach, California!”
After four years at FSU, what have you learned that you think future Seminoles should know?
“I think that future Seminoles should know that the next four years are going to be some of the craziest, most dynamic years of your life. My advice would be to take lots of chances and to go confidently in the direction of your dreams. We have so many resources at our fingertips so we should take advantage of those while we can.”