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 Savvy is sponsored by Syren.
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: I graduated December of 2016.
Ashley: Undergrad, December 2015; MBA, May 2017.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.