Joe Bowser Internship

Name: 
Joe Bowser
Major: 
Horticulture, Turfgrass Science and Management
Year: 
Senior
Hometown: 
Fort Dodge, Iowa
Company/Organization: 
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Location: 
Wimbledon, London, England

Describe your internship responsibilities:

Maintenance of the 41 grass tennis courts, clay courts, croquet lawn, and ornamental lawns. My duties included mowing, painting, rolling, edging, scarifying, and seeding the tennis courts leading up to and during the tournament. During the tournament we were also responsible for covering Centre Court with a tarp when it rained. Post-tournament responsibilities included renovating the courts for next year's tournament and keeping some of the courts in playing condition for members of the club to use.

What did you enjoy most about this internship?

I enjoyed working on the grounds during one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world. As the groundstaff worked to make the courts perfect, I knew the work that I did directly affected the quality of play during the tournament. We were able to take a great sense of pride in the work that we accomplished. Leading up to and during the tournament I mowed two of the championship courts and it was completely my responsibility to get the stripes that were mowed into the courts straight and looking perfect for the tournament.

How has this experience impacted your future career plans?

It has provded me valuable work experience in the field of sports turf management. I learned some important strategies that will allow me to be successful in this industry upon graduation. I also obtained considerable experience working with different types of equipment that will be very useful in my career as a sports turf manager.

What resources did you utilize to obtain this internship?

I thought that Wimbledon would be an interesting place to work and as a freshman asked one of my turfgrass professors, Dr. David Minner, if he knew of any possibilities to work there. He had met Wimbledon's head groundsman, Eddie Seaward, and gave me his e-mail address. I contacted Eddie during my freshman year at Iowa State. I worked out the details of my employment with Eddie and the club's human resources department over the next couple of years. I used BUNAC (British Universities North America Club) to obtain a temporary work visa that was necessary to be employed in the UK.

What advice would you offer to other students seeking similar internships?

Opportunities are endless! If there is something that you really want to do - pursue it and you can probably make it happen. You can never start looking for internships too early. It takes a lot of time to work out some of the details especially when working overseas. It is important to learn to network with Iowa State faculty and staff because they have contacts all over the world. I had previous work experience in sports turf management and this proved to be beneficial in my pursuit of this internship.