Taking Initiative: Katelin Randolph’s Internship with the Henry Brunton Golf Academy for Instruction

We learn a lot...we also get all of the connections.

Katelin Randolph, a senior in the Ferris State University PGA Golf Management Program, took initiative in using a nontraditional approach to finding an internship. She was rewarded with industry connections, a full-time position, and technical and social skills that will last her a lifetime.

This year, Randolph spent a semester working at the Henry Brunton Golf Academy for Instruction in Orlando, Florida. During her time there she had a plethora of responsibilities, including being the “House Mom” for elite full-time athletes, leading local junior programming, managing social media, and working in administration. The young golfers she coached ranged from ages five to twelve. While some were learning to play for the first time, others were competing for the opportunity to go to the Masters.

While there, she learned valuable technical skills for her career path, including an understanding of the golf swing, angles and degrees, and custom club fitting. Randolph also had the opportunity to grow socially by learning to connect with students of all different personalities as a coach.

Don't settle, Instead of just freaking out about the deadline I kept searching.

“We learn a lot…we also get all of the connections,” Randolph explained of the internship process. The skills and connections Randolph gained in her time at the Academy have not only opened the door to a full-time position after graduation, but also bring her one step closer to obtaining her dream. Further down the road, Randolph hopes to use her experiences to open an academy of her own.

All of this came about from Randolph’s decision to fulfill her internship requirements in an unusual way. The PGA Golf Management Program requires a cumulative 16 months of internships, where students receive enriching real-world experience. Typically, these internships are at one of the numerous PGA-recognized golf facilities where Ferris has connections. Randolph, however, took extra care to seek out opportunities that well aligned with her intended career path, even if she had to make the connections herself.

“My first internship, I was at a private golf course because I thought I wanted to be an assistant doing merchandise,” Randolph explained. But after finding more enjoyment in the teaching portion of the class, she decided to pursue a junior golf internship next. It was after the completion of that second internship that she knew she wanted to go to a golf academy. After hours of research, locating a mutual connection, and a few emails, Randolph landed an interview for the Orlando position.

For other students looking to locate their dream internship opportunities, Randolph has some helpful advice. “Don’t settle,” she said, encouraging others to have patience and take initiative. “Instead of just freaking out about the deadline I kept searching!”