Jake Hafermalz
Bowling is LIFE
Student: Bachelor of Business Administration
December 2019

Jake Hafermalz came to Life University on a bowling scholarship, and as team captain, he helped form a nationally recognized team. Hafermalz recently completed an internship for Stars and Strikes in accounting and moved to Rawley, North Carolina because he was offered a position at an up-and-coming location. He is finishing up his last three classes online to get his Bachelor’s in Business Administration in December.

Hafermalz is from Concord, North Carolina but has lived in Georgia for most of his teenage and adult life. He graduated high school and attended Kentucky State University on a bowling scholarship, but by sophomore year, it became too expensive to attend out of state.

“I started working full time for six months and then decided to try Kennesaw State University while I was living in Dawsonville; it was okay, but at that time I was more focused on working,” he notes. “So, if I was scheduled for work and class, I went to work.” He decided to drop out because he didn’t want his GPA to suffer any more. “If I wanted to go back to school, I didn’t want to have to work around a low GPA.”

The lessons Hafermalz learned while working were valuable. “I really feel like getting work experience helps a lot. I went to school and then dropped out and went to work to get experience.” Hafermalz says. “I learned that the little details really matter. In the classroom you have your papers and class discussions, but at work you get into the little things. Tasks as simple as auditing someone’s time, their payroll and making sure people are using the right buttons for transactions are things you can’t learn in a classroom.”

After working three years at a bowling alley, Hafermalz was approached by Jeff Halen, the Life University men’s bowling coach, to come to LIFE on a bowling scholarship. While he hadn’t considered going back to school, he figured now was as good a time as any to finish his degree. “Being on the bowling team is awesome because of the travel,” Hafermalz says. “I’ve been to Tennessee, Vegas, Ohio.”

“As the team captain, I was provided a lot of leadership responsibility,” Havermalz explains. “The bowling team helps set up for Lights of LIFE and organizes charity work in the local community.”

The Life University bowling team has only been around five years and started as just a men’s team. “It was rough because no one else had experience but me. It was pretty new. Soon enough we had some really great finishes at tournaments, and teams began to respect us because we came out of nowhere.” Hafermalz says. “Different personalities sometimes clash, but we all came together and started making something happen. Every year we have gotten better as a team.”

Now, Life University has both a women’s and a men’s bowling team with 16 players total. Their season starts in September and ends around March or May with 10-13 tournaments held in different states.

Hafermalz has really enjoyed his time at LIFE. “It has been different because, when I was at the first school, I was on campus living in dorms; at LIFE, I was living in my own apartment. However, I love the small class sizes and working more one on one with the professors. They are really understanding as long as you don’t take advantage of them.”

In his free time, Hafermalz enjoys playing Madden on X-Box, watching Sunday NFL football and watching the Georgia Bulldogs. His family has been very supportive of him going back to college at LIFE. “My sister is taking a bowling class at the University of North Georgia and constantly texts her scores to me,” he says. “My family all come to watch different tournaments I have been in and ask how things are going. I appreciate how supportive they have been.”

While Hafermalz was at LIFE, he turned his job at Stars and Strikes into an internship as part of his degree experience. Dr. Marla Thompson, Adjunct Professor of Business at LIFE, allowed him to do this after he agreed to work with his manager to create new goals and objectives that he would have to achieve during this internship period.

“Dr. Thompson was really happy about how my supervisor said a lot of nice things about how I was doing. Setting small goals to push everything further has really helped in the long run,” Hafermalz says. “I really enjoyed helping to improve various processes for the store to make it more efficient.”

After he graduates in December, Hafermalz is going to continue working full time for Stars and Strikes in their accounting department for a new store in Rawley, North Carolina.



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