Evan Thue-

The Ryder Cup is a golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States, and this year it was held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, MN. In the 3-day event from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, the United States beat Europe convincingly. Nicole TenHaken, a UW–Stout sophomore in the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management program, was given the once in a lifetime opportunity to work at the Ryder Cup.

Nicole started working at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in May through UW–Stout’s Cooperative Education Program. Nicole primarily helped with clubhouse setup, which included room preparation, beverage preparation and meal preparation.

Working at such an amazing event must have brought more than just one incredible and memorable experience, but for Nicole, there was one specific part of the event that she took away as her favorite.

UW-Stout students (Nicole TenHaken, Andy Smith, Adam Chandler, and Joel Schaberg) from the Club Managers Association of America volunteered at the Ryder Cup.

“My ultimate favorite thing about working the Ryder Cup was getting to know the players’ families, caddies, past captains and all other PGA guests so well that many hugs were given at the end of the week.”

Not only was Nicole able to work in close proximity to famous golfers, the golfers were all very friendly and willing to interact with her.

“The golfers were down to earth, normal people. Phil Mickelson introduced himself to all of the staff and was happy to see familiar faces every time. I didn’t interact much with the players, but when I did, they were all genuinely nice people.”

For those interested in an opportunity such as this, there are ways to get involved in a similar Co-Op experience. Nicole found this opportunity through the UW–Stout career fair, and she says that it “most likely will be [there] again this spring. In order to get something like this, you need some experience.” She went on to say, “You also need to have an upbeat, happy, positive, flexible and hospitable personality.”

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