007 | How to Sell Students on Your Internship Program with Dr. John Kaminski

Episode 007

How to Sell Students on Your Internship Program

with guest Dr. John Kaminski

If you’ve ever wondered how to attract top interns for your club, look no further.

Dr. John Kaminski is a Professor and Associate Head of the Department of Plant Science at The Pennsylvania State University. He serves as Director of the Golf Course Turfgrass Management Program, an 18-month intense training program for future golf course grounds managers. He also consults with various golf courses around the United States and select countries around the world.

Outside of Penn State, Dr. Kaminski is the Chief Agronomy Officer of GreenSight Agronomy, a Boston-based technology company that utilizes proprietary imaging hardware/software to detect turfgrass stress on golf courses with autonomous drones. 

How to Attract Top Talent

When trying to win over student interns, most club representatives talk about themselves: their facility, the course, and all the great work the club is doing. But students, like anyone, prefer to talk about themselves. 

The best thing you can do as a recruiter is to listen. Ask questions, take an interest in the students, and follow up with them personally. Don’t just tell them what your club has to offer, but explain why it benefits them.

Give Them a Great Experience

Once the interns are on the course, give them a great experience. Go beyond general maintenance tasks; get them involved with management and decision-making, even if they’re just a fly on the wall during meetings. Better yet, have them give a presentation to the board about the internship and what they learned. 

Most of all, treat your interns with respect. Don’t brush off their questions. Take a little time out of your busy day to talk with them. Let them get to know the leadership team, and if you want to go above and beyond, consider bringing in guest speakers for continued education.

Remember that your interns are going to share their experience with their friends–if they tell everyone how great it was and how much they learned, that will encourage the next year’s students to apply as well.

Enjoy this episode with Dr. John Kaminski…


“If I could get superintendents to sit in a room with me and coach them on how to sell an internship to a student, I could probably get them to get an intern every time.”

“If you’re a superintendent, learn to listen.”

“Goals are flexible. I thought I wanted to be a superintendent but goals change and that’s okay.”

“You might have a plan now, but it’s okay if that changes.” 

“I tell all the internship supervisors, if you overpromise and underdeliver to the students, they come back and tell everybody and then you’re done for at least two to three years. And vice versa.”

“They’re kids. They haven’t hit that maturity level yet. They’re not you, they haven’t got there yet, it’s a process…be patient.”

Links mentioned in this episode:

Turf Diseases website: http://turfdiseases.org/ 

Turfgrass Management: https://plantscience.psu.edu/research/labs/turfgrass-management 

Connect with John on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnekaminski/  

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Tyler Bloom

Who is Tyler Bloom?

Tyler Bloom is the leading expert on workforce development in the golf and turfgrass industry. He has worked with dozens of leading golf and sports companies in the United States including The PGA of America, Top 100 golf courses, public, municipal to professional sports teams, universities, and national historic landmarks.