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YPN Blog: November 2016

Posted By Jared Mull, Transylvania County Parks and Recreation, Thursday, November 3, 2016
Updated: Friday, October 21, 2016

Hello, Young Professionals!

My name is Jared Mull, and I am a Recreation Manager with Transylvania County. I am the guest blogger for the November installment of the Young Professionals Blog. My post will discuss getting involved with the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association (NCRPA).

NCRPA has been a part of my life since I entered the parks and recreation field full-time in 2010.  I was fortunate to begin my work with the City of Kannapolis, which had leadership that believed in the value of NCRPA and being involved as much as possible.  I talk about me being fortunate because finding a department that believes in professional development and NCRPA will help make gaining their support of you being involved with the Association much easier.

Why Be Involved?

1.  You get to learn and network with the best.  Take a look at who is on the board and who holds different leadership roles within NCRPA, and you’ll quickly see that these are typically executive management professionals with a genuine passion for what they do.  They are the best at what they do and getting to spend time working with them will only make you better.

2.  Let’s be honest…your resume likely looks like every other young professional's resume.  You have a Bachelor’s degree, possibly a Master’s degree, an internship, and you’re likely just starting your first full-time job.  What are you doing that will separate you from other young professionals that may apply for the next job that you want?  Adding NCRPA volunteer experience to your resume and holding different leadership positions will not only enhance your resume but will give you an edge over your peers.  NCRPA allows you to take on leadership roles that you likely aren’t getting with your current job if you are not yet at a supervisor level.

How to Be Involved

There are several ways to get involved with NCRPA.  I started out just attending region meetings and other NCRPA functions, so I could get a feel for what it is all about and see if it was something that I was interested in.  I’ll definitely forget some ways to be involved, but below are some ideas for young professionals that are looking to get their feet wet with NCRPA:

  • Present at a state conference.  I realize that for some of you this may take you out of your comfort zone, but you get to speak on an area of parks and recreation that you are passionate and knowledgeable about.  I presented on fantasy football impacting parks and recreation back in 2012, and I didn’t get booted off the stage so you have nothing to worry about!
  • Be a room host at state conference. 
  • Join NRPA and NCRPA Young Professional Network.  If it is something that you enjoy, try to then take a leadership position within the network.
  • Volunteer and nominate yourself to be on a NCRPA committee.
  • Region involvement.  I’m a big proponent of work that can be done within your geographic region.  Strive to be an active member in the region through attending meetings, networking events, and improving communication.
  • Contact NCRPA.  Let Michelle, Matt, and Wanda know some of your interests and time availability, and they will likely have some type of way for you to be involved.

Ultimately, you are the only one that chooses your personal and professional goals for your career.  If you are looking for ways to grow as a young professional and separate yourself from your peers, I can think of no better way to do so than to start getting involved with NCRPA.

 Meet the Author

Jared Mull is a Recreation Manager with Transylvania County Parks and Recreation. Jared was born and raised in Brevard, NC and received his B.S. degree in Recreation from Southern Wesleyan University and M.S. degree in Recreation Management from High Point University. Jared has previously worked for the City of Kannapolis and Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation in various roles. Jared is responsible for the management of the recreation division including budget, athletics, special events, recreation programs, contracted instructors, and strategic planning. Some of Jared’s favorite things are: Food – Mexican, Hobby - Fantasy football and lifting weights, and spending time with his wife Jennifer and two boxers Max & Molly.

 Jared can be reached at 828-884-3156 or

If you are interested in being a guest author for the YPN Blog, please contact Nicole at or 919-832-5868

Tags:  involvement  NCRPA  young professionals 

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