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Idea Fair

Manager-in-Training "Externship" Program

How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?

The M.I.T. Externship Program is designed for recent graduates seeking to advance their careers through an educational opportunity in a Club management training environment. Dataw Island has now had two "classes" of Manager-In-Training (M.I.T.) Externs, comprising ten recent college graduates who studied Hospitality, Culinary Arts, or similarly-related fields. They spend 18 months working in the Club and doing rotations throughout various departments to learn many facets of Club management.

The program has allowed us to recruit some of the best and brightest for a minimum 18 month commitment. Their enthusiasm and interest in learning and growing has contributed to many departments as well as to the member experience - and most importantly, to their professional development. We've had MITs complete the program and work in our Communications department, go on to become Dining Services Manager, Catering Manager, Special Events Manager, and to progress to F&B and/or Club career opportunities across the country.

Even throughout the pandemic, these employees were dedicated professionals, contributing to the member experience in various ways, including serving in the outlets, coordinating/hosting events, and assisting other department (Security, Accounting, Marketing, Tennis, Golf, Marina.)

How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?


  • College career fairs
  • 4-page program brochure
  • Online job site/college forum postings
  • Social media

Selection process was similar to the job interview process.

Once selected, we helped arranged housing (partially paid by the Club). A training schedule is developed to cross-train in various departments and to shadow department heads.

Their energy is a positive addition for coworkers and members. Members love them personally, and truly want to see them succeed - even going as far as writing letters of recommendations and helping to arrange interviews in other markets. Management and Members agree that in contributing to these young professionals' development, we also reap great reward.

About the author

Laura McCarthy

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