IAA Internship Stories: Scott Hebert
Golf is an astonishing sport performed on some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and someone has to create and maintain such beauty. For a long time Scott Hebert wanted to be that someone, but he had neither the experience nor knowledge about the practices required to maintain a golf course. Nonetheless, he felt this was his calling. Enter the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) at the University of Maryland, which offers a two-year specialization for students who want to pursue a career in Golf Course Management.
An avid golfer with a passion for nature and its surroundings, Hebert came to the program eager to learn and excel in the industry. His experience as an operator and foreman in environmental construction combined with a bachelor’s degree from Randolph-Macon College were his guiding strengths prior to entering the IAA.
During his first year at the IAA, Hebert competed in both the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) and GCSSA Turf Bowl competitions, made the Dean’s List both semesters, and became highly involved in the academic community.
Hebert landed an internship on the River Course at Queenstown Harbor, a high-end, 36-hole public golf facility located on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. The facility, which became an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary certified course in 2008, focuses its efforts on being environmentally sound. Its wildlife sanctuary is home to both Bald and Golden Eagles.
Hebert was exposed to all facets of turfgrass and golf course management this summer. Having no hands-on experience prior to working at Queenstown Harbor, his keenness to learn allowed him to quickly understand the daily operations required at a top-tier golf facility. Taught firsthand by Superintendent Nick Brandt and his assistant, John Bryson, Hebert received thorough instruction on how to mow greens, check moisture levels, hand-water greens and fairways, and operate a boom sprayer. He expanded on the valuable information learned in his first year at the IAA by adapting class material to the work environment.
Hebert acquired many valuable skills that will prove to be useful in his career as a Golf Course Manager. “Coming to the IAA has been the most rewarding experience of my life. I literally changed careers in a matter of days and the amazing faculty at the IAA have pushed me to exceed even my own expectations,” Hebert said.