Inform. Influence. Inspire

Life After College: Balancing a New Job with a Shooting Schedule

No more summer vacations. Syren Brand Manager Lynne Green interviews ProStaffers Ashley Butcher and Annemarie Garrett to find out how they balance a new job with a shooting schedule in life after college.

 

Syren Shotguns for Women. Syren providing quality shotguns and gear designed exclusively for women by women with no compromises.

Syren Savvy  is sponsored by Syren. 

 

LG: Where did you attend university, and how much did you shoot during college?

Annemarie: I attended Arizona State University and shot on our college team, The Gun Devils. I practiced about 2 to 3 times a week, either with the team or on my own.

Ashley: Canisius College, Buffalo NY. Both undergrad (I earned a B.S. in finance and marketing), and MBA with an accounting concentration. I shot a few times per month when school was in session, and much more frequently on breaks.

Annemarie in Cap and Gown

Annemarie in her cap and gown.

LG: When did you graduate?

Annemarie: I graduated December of 2016.

Ashley: Undergrad, December 2015; MBA, May 2017.

LG: Where are you working now and what is your job?

Annemarie: I currently have an amazing full-time job as the field marketing manager at Pique Tea. I manage the national field marketing efforts trying to connect people with the amazing health benefits of our tea.

Ashley: I am a full-time cost accountant at the University at Buffalo, I help out part-time as a bookkeeper at my family’s business, Summit MSP, and I also do some part-time branding and Web development for Woolley Shooting Clinics. 

Ashley in Cap and Gown

Ashley in her graduation.

LG: Did you discuss your shooting passion and schedule with your employer when you were interviewing? If so, were they open to accommodating your schedule?

Annemarie: I did discuss my shooting, and the people at Pique Tea have been so supportive; they think it’s an amazing hobby, since it is such a unique sport to participate in at a high level. The people at my previous job, one that I had right out of college, were also very supportive of the sport, but we only had 5 days of vacation for the whole year. That made it very hard to get out, even to practice, since I was gone from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. 

Ashley: Yes, because shooting competitively is an important part of my life, so I included my experience on my resume. I believe playing a sport at a high level displays dedication, discipline and passion—all strong characteristics of an employee. In addition, because of the unique nature of the sport, many of my interviewers had questions, and it was a great talking point.

UB has a standard vacation package, based on an accrual system. The time off I receive allows me to attend the NSCA Championship Tour and FITASC qualifiers; I just have to plan carefully. The first few months were challenging, because I had not accrued much time. Now that I have established vacation time, it works well. I schedule all my events Thursday/Friday through Sunday, if possible, so I only have to use one or two vacation days per event. This means I have to register early, because FITASC fills up quick!

Annemarie at SHOT Show 2018

Annemarie at SHOT Show 2018.

LG: How much company-sponsored vacation time do you have on your new job?

Annemarie: As mentioned, my previous job only had 5 days. My current job is a little more flexible and accommodating, with additional comp days during the week, as it occasionally requires me to put in extra time on the weekends.

Ashley: I accrue 1.25 vacation days per month for the first year, plus holidays … pretty standard for 2 weeks of vacation.

LG: Has your new job affected your shooting practice and event participation?

Annemarie: It definitely has. It was very nice in college, being able to drive out to the range whenever I wanted and to skip Thursday and Friday classes to fly out to various shooting tournaments. With the real world setting in, a lot more time management definitely has to happen. I have to be selective about shoots that match up with my work schedule, and practice late at night or on the weekends, not just whenever I want.

Ashley: Not much has changed, practice-wise. I practice every weekend, and when the weather is nice, we shoot a few nights a week as well. Without night classes for my MBA, I have a more flexibility in my schedule after work, and I try to be disciplined to do my gun mounts in the mirror before work. I think I practice more now that I am not living on campus.

Shooting Schedule

Ashley on the cover of Clay Shooting USA.

LG: Have you had to decline certain shoots now that you don’t have as much vacation available? And have you cut back on the number of events you participate in at the shoots?

Annemarie: I have had to cut back on more than a few shoots to make sure all of my job responsibilities are getting fulfilled. I have had to really plan for future shoots and give lots of notice to make sure going works for both parties.

Ashley: I did decline a FITASC qualifier this past November. It was added as a qualifier after the original schedule came out, and with work and other commitments, I couldn’t make it. As far as events, I have not had to cut back; I just schedule accordingly. 

LG: Do you have any advice for college kids that are shooting right now?

Annemarie: Make sure you take your time in college and relish the freedom. I was so eager to blast through college and get out into the real world. I totally took my free time for granted. It is much harder to make time to do the things you want, especially your first year out of college, so make sure you’re prepared for this.

Ashley: Work hard and enjoy it! Your college years will give you a lot of flexibility to shoot, so take advantage of the free time—but remember, clay shooting is a great sport because you can participate in it for your entire life.

  • About Lynne Green

    Prior to becoming the Brand Manager for Syren, Lynne Green served as the Executive Director of Atlanta Charity Clays, disbursing more than $300,000 to local area children’s charities in 2016, bringing their total to over $4.3 million in 26 years. Most of her career has been spent as an IT Infrastructure Project Manager working on multi-million dollar projects such as merger/acquisitions, data center migrations, desktop deployments and outsourcing conversions for several Fortune 500 companies.