Club Selection: BVU Golfers Land Winning Internship Experiences

BVU Lake Creek, Siebens School of Business serve as conduits for work in golf industry, a portion of 200 internships and experiential learning opportunities completed by Beavers annually.

The day Joe Powell began working at Buena Vista University Golf Course at Lake Creek in May 2019, he was greeted by Evan Krause, a BVU sport business and marketing major who had just completed his sophomore year. It was Krause’s first day on the job as well.

It would become a trend for Powell, the BVU Lake Creek Manager who was recently named BVU Director of Golf Operations, who, come July 1, will oversee both men’s and women’s golf programs at BVU.

“Evan was a big help for me in my first summer at BVU Lake Creek,” says Powell, a former collegiate golfer at the University of Dubuque. “It was so nice to have a college golfer on staff to help me in organizing and running tournaments, as well as with tasks associated with the day-to-day operations on the golf side of the business.”

That summer, Krause served on the board that organized and executed BVU Lake Creek’s popular Member-Guest Tournament, an event that grew to encompass an entire weekend’s worth of activity at the 18-hole layout on Storm Lake’s west side.

“Working in Florida for the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour was a good experience for me as it got me out of my comfort zone. It was a fast-paced environment and we made decisions quickly.”

Ryan Ruzek

“I also hounded Joe into letting me run a tournament on my own and he allowed me to organize a 1-person Ryder Cup tournament at BVU Lake Creek that fall,” says Krause, who hails from Clear Lake.

The experience set the stage for Krause to earn an internship at the exclusive Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Mont., one year ago. And that summer’s worth of work at Yellowstone provided the groundwork for Krause’s upcoming employment at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., a position he assumes one week following his May graduation from BVU. The Robert Trent Jones-designed course has served as the site for multiple PGA and LPGA majors as well as the 2016 Ryder Cup.

In between there are golf competitions for Powell and his Beavers men’s golf team, which consists of Krause and two teammates who have also enjoyed internships within the industry. BVU opens play in the 2021 American Rivers Conference Tournament on Thursday at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City.

Senior Ryan Ruzek, BVU’s No. 1 varsity golfer the past three years, spent last summer working for the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, an organization based at Orange County National Golf Course in Winter Garden, Flor., site of past PGA Tour Qualifying School tournaments.

“Working in Florida for the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour was a good experience for me as it got me out of my comfort zone,” says Ruzek, a Shenandoah native who will graduate in May with a degree in marketing. “It was a fast-paced environment and we made decisions quickly.”

Shane Hess, meantime, took Krause’s place as an intern at BVU Lake Creek during the past summer. Hess, a sophomore golfer from Columbus, Neb., returns to the local course this summer to continue his work for Powell.

“Joe allowed me to run my own tournament, which gave me a feel for everything that’s needed in making sure an event runs smoothly and is appreciated by the course and the golfers,” says Hess, a sport business major. “I also enjoyed the BVU Lake Creek Member-Guest as I got to meet many of the extended families of the members I’d gotten to know during the summer.”

Krause, Ruzek, and Hess all completed their golf industry internships under Dr. Scott Anderson, BVU Professor of Marketing/Director of Business Internships, and an avid golfer himself.

“Internships open doors to amazing careers and our students take complete advantage of the opportunities that come their way,” Anderson says. “While Beavers enjoy success in many sports, there is a special place in my heart for BVU golfers and BVU Lake Creek as both of my children golfed for BVU and developed life-long skills interning at Lake Creek. BVU students know they can go anywhere from here!” 

This golf trio of interns is emblematic of a University that places great emphasis on experiential learning, much which is paid. All told, BVU students complete some 200 internship experiences annually.

“Having the BVU connection with Lake Creek has been so beneficial,” says Powell, who has also supervised interns who play baseball and football for the Beavers. “We’ve been able to provide experiences for our students in management, accounting, purchasing, member relations, community relations, and more. Having the BVU tie with a championship golf course and business in Lake Creek has strengthened both organizations while preparing our students for success in a variety of careers.”