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The NC Recre8'er - is the Blog for NC Recreation and Parks Professionals. We will feature posts from NCRPA members and staff about all the latest news, insights and tips in our field and around the state. Topics will include but are not limited to: Health and Wellness, Outdoor Recreation, Athletics, Advocacy, Aquatics, Therapeutic Recreation, Special Events, Marketing, Parks and Greenways, Cultural Resources and more! If you are interested in being a guest blogger please contact Matt at NCRPA Matt@ncrpa.net or 919-832-5868. The opinions of The NC Recre8'er (NCRPA) blog contributors don't necessarily reflect the editorial position of North Carolina Recreation and Park Association as a whole.

 

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YPN Blog: August 2018

Posted By Coult Culler, North Carolina Recreation and Park Association, Thursday, August 2, 2018
Updated: Monday, July 30, 2018

Staying Connected


Hello fellow young professionals! My name is Coult Culler, and I am the current summer intern here at the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association (NCRPA). After completing my internship, I will officially be a North Carolina State University graduate. I am graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with a concentration in Natural Resources. My time here at NCRPA has allowed me to sharpen my profession skills, learn new ones, and most importantly meet some great people. In this month's YPN blog, I will discuss the importance of staying connected with past friends, classmates, professors, and other contacts.


Over the course of my four years in college, I was able to meet hundreds of individuals. Some of whom I now consider to be my best friends and will always keep in touch with them no matter where we end up in life. Others I have met were classmates, coaches, teacher assistants, and professors. It has taken me until this point to realize how important it is to stay connected with them. Staying connected has the potential to open doors and create new opportunities that may never have come around without the help of an old friend.


After finishing your general college classes, you are able to move into your major-specific classes. In these classes, you start to meet fellow classmates that more than likely share similar career goals as you do and partake in the same extracurricular activities. It is scary how fast those four years can fly by, and people start getting jobs and going their separate ways. After those four years, people have more than likely shared contact information or are friends on social media of some sort. Taking advantage of that information may benefit you more than you think. If you are currently working a job and have already started looking for new ones, or you are still on the search for either a part-time or full-time job, take advantage of the contacts you have access to. Your classmates may be in a position to help you find a job or even offer you a position at their current organization.


A lot of us had a favorite professor that taught multiple classes related to our major. He or she was able to get to know who you are from your assignments, projects, papers and other school-related content. They were also able to see you grow as a person over a couple of years. Professors are there to share their knowledge with young professionals that strive to make a difference in the world no matter where they may end up working. But looking down the road, they are there to help you even if you are not in school anymore. Professors have an endless book of connections that may assist you in the job search. When you are stressing about your current employment position and where to go from there, don’t hesitate to send that email. The connection with past teachers and professors goes past the classroom doors. Reaching out for advice or suggestions is something that they would be happy to share with you.


During my final year at NC State, I started to become stressed about finding an internship. I spent hours looking and applying but was unable to hear back from anyone. I finally ended up reaching out to my advisor who I had become close with over the years. Thankfully, she was able to give me a couple of leads to different places that had internships available around the Raleigh area. I ended up applying for the position with NCRPA later that day. Not too long after applying, I received an email back from NCRPA asking when I could come in for an interview. I immediately sent my advisor an email saying thank you for all of her help because without it I may have never gotten the internship. That just goes to show that building relationships with people over the years can benefit you in tough situations.             


My time at NC State was more than anything I could have asked for because of the people I met and the education I received. Now moving forward as a young professional, I am able to see the unwritten side of the real world. It is up to us to find a profession we have a passion for, but that is a lot easier said than done. Take advantage of the friends and contacts you have made over the years because you never know how they could positively impact your future.


 Meet the Author

 

Coult joined NCRPA this summer as an intern and is a native of Wilmington, North Carolina. He is planning on graduating from North Carolina State University at the end of this summer with a Bachelor's of Science in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with a concentration in Natural Resources. Coult lives in Raleigh and enjoys making trips back to Wilmington to fish and be on the water.

 

Coult can be reached at ccculler@ncsu.edu or 919-832-5868.

  

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

Tags:  connections  intern  internship  networking  professional development  young professionals  ypn 

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YPN Blog: February 2017

Posted By Vicky Harley, Kernersville Parks and Recreation, Monday, January 30, 2017

Importance of an Internship

Hey y’all! With the new year underway, that means college has started back for some possible interns for your department! With that in mind, I wanted to stress the importance of an internship – a quality internship. Like Jared said in the November blog, we all most likely had one at some point in our parks and recreation career. You either knew what you wanted to do, you were testing the waters, or you needed something so you could graduate; whatever that reason may be, we were all there. My internship experience actually landed me the job I have now! I know some of you are thinking, “What does an internship have to do with me, I’m already in the field?” Well YOU can help your interns get the most out of their experience.

The first milestone is letting these students know you exist. We, the Young Professionals Network, want to reach out to area schools and colleges, so let’s make it count. Most guest speakers I had were wedding planners, a GIS analyst, and more wedding planners (my concentration was Commercial Recreation and Event Planning mind you). Not that I didn’t enjoy the information they passed along, but those fields weren’t something I was interested in and didn’t create a broad enough impression of the Recreation and Park Management major. Let these students know a little bit about your sector and what you provide to your town or city. Personally, I had never heard of the town I currently work in, or what working in a “traditional” parks and recreation department meant. As far as parks and recreation went for me, it meant trees, plants, and wedding planning – that’s it. Parks and recreation is so much more, from special events to athletics to outdoor and indoor facilities, parks and recreation is a plethora of programs and events that offer the community a great way to be safe while promoting health as well as protecting the environment.

Now when the interns start, they’re a little nervous – whether they show it or not. Be the person to help them ease into their new role, give a few pointers here and there like: “Tom doesn’t mind questions, so ask away.” Encourage them to be proactive to achieve beyond just their objectives. Say they want to attend a meeting; push them to attend a staff meeting, an advisory board meeting, a town/city department head meeting and every level in between. While at the meeting, also engage and participate in that meeting. This helps them know the full scope of what you do all the way up to how it affects your citizens and other departments. This also expands their knowledge and opens them to other positions and aspects they may take interest in.

Lastly, everyone talks about networking, and while it took me a while to get the hang of it, it is truly important to maintain those relationships. Phones and e-mails work both ways; if a previous intern reaches out to you, make sure to respond even if it’s only, “Hope you’re doing well!” What these interns know is important, but how they use this knowledge makes the biggest impression! So if they have made an impression on you and there is a job opening, email or call them and say, “Hey there’s a position that I think you should apply for.”

Parks and recreation is a big family in my eyes. We all make a difference. You can make an impression on a student by pushing them and treating them like a true professional during their internship and keeping in contact with them after the internship has ended. That’s just my two cents!


Meet the Author

Vicky Harley is a Recreation Administrative Specialist with Kernersville Parks and Recreation, where she did her internship. She has a B.S. in Recreation and Park Management with a minor in Business from UNC: Greensboro. Vicky was born and raised in Columbia, SC (Go Gamecocks!) and currently lives in Greensboro with her fiancé and rescued fur baby Sasha. Favorite Sport- VOLLEYBALL! Played at UNCG and miss it dearly. Favorite Hobby – Cooking and Arts & Craft, Pinterest is my best friend. What’s new – Wedding Planning *woot woot* All those tips from guest speakers are helping out!

Vicky can be reached at vharley@toknc.com or 336-996-3062x3.

 

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

For more information on the importance of internships as well as useful resources, don't forget to check out NCRPA's Intern Connection at www.ncrpa.net/interns

Tags:  intern  internship  internships  young professionals  ypn 

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Getting to know the NCRPA Summer Interns!

Posted By Matthew Carusona, North Carolina Recreation and Park Association, Thursday, June 9, 2016

This Summer NCRPA is hosting two AWESOME interns!  We asked  Hana and Andrea.a few questions to help our members get to know them. You can contact them at Hana@ncrpa.net or Andrea@ncrpa.net 

1. What has been the best part of your internship so far?

Andrea: The most interesting part of my internship so far has been getting to go and sit in on an NCRPA board meeting! It was a great way for me to see all the moving parts of NCRPA behind the scenes.

Hana: I enjoyed visiting different departments while helping with NCRPA's events. Going to these events gives me the opportunity to meet a diverse group of parks and recreation professionals.

2. What are you most excited about moving forward?

Hana: It would be learning about how different recreation and parks organizations in our state operate and gaining knowledge to help me in my career decisions for the future.

Andrea: I am most excited to help out at the Football Summit that is partnering with USA Football and the Carolina Panthers. 

3. One cool or interesting fact people may not know about you?

Andrea: I've gone waterfall hiking in Honduras for the past two years while on orphanage outreach trips!

Hana: The past year I have been traveling all across the United States on weekends facilitating youth activities as part of an internship with Project YES!

Tags:  Blogs  intern  Local Parks  National Recreation and Park Association  NC State  ncrpa  NCSU  NRPA  Organization  Parks  Programs  Recreation  WCU  Western Carolina  Youth Programs 

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