Meet Lauren Lasocha – 2nd year student in the Associate Diploma in Turfgrass Management Program
Lauren is an inspirational member of the turfgrass industry with extensive experience in golf course management. She began working on a golf course as a summer job after high school. “I just wanted a job where I could work outside,” she explains.
Originally from British Columbia, Lauren worked at the Capilano Golf and Country Club in West Vancouver for six seasons under the direction of Superintendent Jamie Robb. It was during this time that she developed a passion for turfgrass management and the aspiration to become a golf course superintendent. Lauren realized she wanted to go back to school.
“The University of Guelph’s (UofG) program was well respected and promoted by the staff at Capilano,” she says, and although there are other turf programs available in Canada, the Associate Diploma in Turgrass Management (DTM) program at UofG seemed to be the perfect fit for her aspirations.
“Certification is becoming very important in industry today,” Lauren explains. Already having worked abroad at the Royal Sydney Golf Club in Australia, she also noted the importance of diverse work experiences.
Lauren realized when coming into the program that major advantages included access to industry professionals, networking, experiential learning through field trips, and the required internship.
She landed an internship this past summer at the highly regarded Kittansett Club in Marion, Massachusetts. Fronting on Buzzard’s bay, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean, the club is ranked fourth in the state’s Top 10 by Golf Digest. Kittansett is also a regular member of the Top 100 courses in the United States.
“The most important thing I learned in my internship was that there is always a solution for any problem,” explains Lauren. She enjoyed the camaraderie with the staff and the fact Superintendent John Kelly took her under his wing and taught her many valuable skills.
With the New Year upon us, Lauren is entering her final semester of the DTM program. She will be California bound at the end of the semester to begin an exciting new position at another Top 50 ranked golf course. She acknowledges that having a job waiting post-graduation is definitely a positive outcome of the program, and speaks to the demand for its graduates in the turf industry.
Although Lauren is very excited for her next adventure, she knows she will miss is the community and “happy family” atmosphere of the student environment at UofG. Lauren recounts her experience: “Internationally I have even been able to expand my skill set and work experience in Australia and Massachusetts and will continue to look for opportunities near and far within the industry. Everyone I have met on and off the golf course during the past year and half have had a positive impact that will last a lifetime."
Article authored and published by John R. Watson, Guelph Turfgrass Institute Communications Assistant
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