December 7, 2015

Robert Todd: Run an Internship Program that Gets Students Out in the Field

Robert-ToddRobert Todd, the author of the children’s golf book, “’Fore’ Your Family from Todd the Frog,” is the PGA director of golf at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

Robert Todd on the importance of running an internship program that gets students out into the field:
Every year, from May-November, we employ 7-10 interns. It’s a great experience for us because we’re able to take PGA Golf Management students who want to do exactly what we do (work at golf facilities all around the country) and put them in a real-life setting. They get paid, are provided housing, and receive playing privileges at the five courses we have on the Turning Stone property. We rotate them amongst the facilities every pay period (two weeks), which allows them to work with the different clientele who visit the executive golf course, nine-hole regulation course, three championship courses, the golf dome superstore and the Academy of Golf at Turning Stone. We also require them to wear dress shirts and ties so they look professional and give a first good impression. In addition, we have them help out at our outings, tournaments (such as Notah Begay’s NB3 Challenge) and junior academies, giving them hands-on experience.

Robert Todd on the business impact of running an internship programs that gets students out in the field:
We’ve seen multiple business impacts. First, we’ve been able to hire several interns after their graduation. It helps simplify the process for us because they know our expectations, know how we function and are ready to work. But moreover, the internship program, and getting those interns from PGM programs specifically, has proven extremely successful for us because those students are ready and excited to work in this environment. They know it’s not only a glimpse into their future but also for credit back at their university, compared to other possible applicants who may just be working for a summer job. It also gives them a sample of real-life experiences, and they learn how to handle delicate or sensitive issue with guests. Being able to learn to handle situations on the spot makes them better-prepared if the situation should arise again. Having those students who are excited about the task at hand help us run the smoothest and best operation possible.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email robert.todd@turningstone.com