Believe it or not, in a similar situation to many turfgrass programs across the country – our students have almost all signed up for their internship opportunities already – the early bird catches the worm as they say.
Our students are predominantly going to be based in Ohio but some have also taken a look at out of state opportunities. As I write this I would make a recommendation to anyone who is thinking about an internship program – do it properly or don’t do it at all.
If you are frustrated that you cannot gain interns from various programs, consider the following questions.
Do you provide free/discounted accommodation?
Do you provide uniforms / food discounts of some sort?
Have you a LEGIBLE clearly communicated internship document that indicates tasks expected to be completed and expected training outcomes for the potential candidates?
Have you visited the schools in person?
Do you start the process of looking for interns in September of the previous year or wait until February / March of the actual year?
Are you willing to give them tournament exposure (eg volunteer at tournament week close by for the AM or PM shift)?
Have you thought about broadening the internship to include landscape experiences?
Have you called the professors at these programs and actually made an effort to sell your program?
There are other things that students are being offered on top of this basic list – its competitive out there!
You may say that these students are being pampered too much if this is what is being offered – I will just say – you’re probably not going to get an intern if that’s your approach. The students have a choice – they are aware of this and who can blame them if they believe that the opportunities being offered to them are the best for their careers? All you can do is get involved and go in with eyes wide open.