There is something to be said about finding the right fit, truly belonging somewhere, and pursuing a passion that nothing else can match.
For twenty-one-year-old New York native Deanna Confessore, that passion has always been golf, so when it came time for her to choose a career, there was only ever one option. She wanted to work in the golf industry and eventually earn Class A status as an LPGA Teaching Professional, learning as much as she could about the game she has been obsessed with since she was a young girl playing on the high school golf team at only twelve years old.
After graduating high school, she entered into a Business Marketing program, playing it safe by choosing a general degree with the hope of eventually finding her way back to the golf industry. But as the semester progressed, she found herself struggling in the classroom.
“I was not a straight-A student growing up,” said Deanna, “so academics were hard for me, let alone studying something I didn’t have an interest in. I was really unhappy in the classroom, and I want to be happy in the classroom. I want to learn and have an education that I’m going to use in my future.”
After a year there, she decided a business degree was not the right fit for her. Her priorities for a new university seemed simple: find a school where she could both play golf and study it. Surprisingly, not many schools offer both a golf team and a golf management program, but she only needed one perfect fit—Keiser University.
“Keiser was like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for me,” said Deanna.
Not only did Keiser University’s Flagship campus in West Palm Beach, Fla., have a golf team, but their Golf Management Program has been growing significantly in the past couple of years, recently collaborating with the LPGA’s Teaching Division to provide an online platform for their teaching professional certification program.
Keiser’s unique approach to education seemed perfect for Deanna, as they are dedicated to providing practical, hands-on instruction taught by people with direct experience in the subject. Rather than focusing entirely on theory, her Golf Management classes take her out of the classroom to work directly with golf simulators and running drills, just like she will in her future career.
One of the lightbulb moments for her happened last summer as she worked at a junior golf camp as an instructor. As she taught, she found herself applying the techniques she learned in class on the lesson tee.
“That made me feel so satisfied with the education that I was given and so thankful for the education that Keiser University has to offer,” said Deanna. “What’s better than going to school for a couple of months, going to work for a couple of months in the summer, and using what you learned? I couldn’t feel more rewarded.”
If Deanna’s story says anything, she wants to get across that it pays to take the leap and look for those places where you feel a greater connection.
“Making the move to Keiser University was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. A lot of other people my age make decisions based on their parents, based on their friends, based on their relationships, and I made this decision for me, myself, and I. And I think that’s so important, because I listened to what I wanted. I listened to the need I had to succeed, and I honestly couldn’t see it any other way.”
Since enrolling at Keiser University, Deanna joined the Keiser University Women’s Golf Team on their journey to becoming National Champions and has formed unbeatable relationships with her teammates, coaches and professors, crediting them for helping make the transition from her business school to Keiser that much easier and being there to help answer all her questions about the golf team and the Golf Management program itself.
She in particular thanks Keiser University Professor Donna White, who has served as a mentor for Deanna.
“She has bent over backwards to support me since the minute I met her,” she said. “Obviously, transferring was stressful, and I got to Keiser with everything everywhere, and she helped me get back on track. She is an amazing mentor for myself and for the team.”
If anything, that feeling of acceptance and support is what has followed Deanna throughout her entire golf journey. From the father-daughter 7 AM tee times she grew up with, to the boys on the high school golf team where she refined her competitive golf skills, and now to Keiser University’s Golf Management program, golf is a place where she has been able to find her spark for life and the passion to make her mark on the world.
“There are people out there who are just like you,” she said. “There is so much support. You just have to look. If more girls knew about the opportunity in golf, I think a lot more would be playing, and I think it would grow immensely.”