Courtney Rorex, Fitness Coordinator, University of Houston (1 year as pro)
Jade Willey, UNCW, Fitness Coordinator, 1 year as professional
Adam Peterson, Head Lifeguard, Vancouver Canada, Been in recreation for 5-6 years
Lauren Newlin,City Of Henderson, Aquatic Program Supervisor, 13 years and shirp
00:34:35NAU - Crystal Durham
Crystal Durham, Coordinator of Competitive Sports and Summer Activities at Northern Arizona University, 2 years as a professional but a long time in the field, and pizza
Jules, searching for a pro job, NIRSA member since '16. Salad.
Kendra Moretti - Belmont University - GA of Marketing & Business Operations - 6 years in the field! Peanut butter
Cassie Smith, Youngstown State University, Graduate Assistant for Facility Operations. I've been in Campus Rec since July 2019. I'd probably eat potatoes because they are versatile and delicious any way you cook them.
Katy Morgan, University of Florida, Coordinator for Facility Operations, (4 years total, 1 year professional), mac and cheese!!
Greg Deverson, Wake Forest University, Coordinator of Intramural Sports, 1 year as pro, Wings
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
2nd year as a pro
Caroline, University of West Georgia, Assistant Director of Comp Sports, 2 years as a pro. Pizza for sure!
Renadi Durosier from Curry College. Intramural Coordinator. In the field for about 3 months. Rice and Beans would be my go to
University of Washington Seattle
Program Coordinator - 8 months as pro (4 years including student)
Hi everyone! I’m Sarah Ortiz, Finishing up my first year as a Sport Programs Graduate Assistant at Georgia Southern University. Pizza all day every day!!!
Gia Landis, Central Washington University, Student Health Programming manager, 1.5 months. I would eat steak!
Dom Sak, Youngstown State University, Coordinator of Club Sports and Summer Camps, 1 year professional/5 years total, my mom's super special pho
Haley Colpitts, Coordinator of Club Sports and Intramurals, Florida Institute of Technology for 1 year professionally, ice cream
00:34:50NAU - Crystal Durham
Pizza is so versatile!
Washington State University
4 years in the field
Adrienne, Northwestern U, Assistant Director of Marketing, 7.5 years, Chicago style pizza
Shana Kessler, Intramural Sports & Special Events Coordinator at Central Washington University. Been in the field 9 years total, 6 years as a professional, less than one year at CWU currently. Popcorn is my jam.
Greg Tack, Quinnipiac, Graduate Assistant for Club Sports, 1 year (3 years involved in Club Sports overall), Twizzlers
Drake Belt, University of Arizona, AD Aquatics and Safety Programs, 3rd year professional, mozzarella cheese sticks
Ian Gannon - Cornell - Assistant Director - 2 years - NYC Pizza
Allie Bogard, Montana State - finishing my 4th year as a professional. Burgers - also versatile
00:35:03Mary Catherine Martinez
MC Martinez - InnoSoft (Fusion) - Product Specialist - 5 years in rec/software - probably cheese or bread :)
Trace Stenz- Intramural/Club Sports and Facilities Coordinator, 2 years as professional, shrimp
00:35:06Erik Estrada - Rowan University
Erik Estrada, Rowan University, Asst. Dir. of Rec Services, 3 yr pro
Marvin Trejo. UCSB. Assistant Operations Coordinator. 6 years in Rec, 2 years as Coordinator. Sour Gummy Worms.
00:35:10Maria Lauron-Ramos (Princeton)
Maria Lauron-Ramos | Princeton | Coordinator of Campus Recreation, Marketing/Staff Development | About 3 years | Dark Chocolate :)
Eric Becker, Coordinator of Aquatics at Marshall. All of these are making me hungry, haven't had lunch yet
Paul Joseph- Nova Southeastern University- 2nd year GA(graduating this spring)- Wings
00:35:34Matthew Sauceda (CSULB)
Matthew Sauceda / CSU, Long Beach / Administrative & Facility Coordinator / 4 yrs.
Colin, Eastern Michigan University- kinda hanging around after my GA ended a couple of weeks ago to help out with risk management until job freeze is over. been in the field 6 years. Pizza!!!
Kevin Makarewicz, SUNY New Paltz, Assistant Wellness & Recreation Director/Aquatics Director, 2 years, Omelets cause you can change what is inside of them
Corrine Pruett, Coordinator for Operations at WVU, 1 year, green olives
00:35:41Erik Estrada - Rowan University
A good bowl of Pho
Paul Sutton Miami University, Customer and Facilities Service Intern, year and half as a professional, Spaghetti
Courtney Brown Coordinator for Facilities at the University of Georgia. June will be 2 years at UGA! Chicken wings would be forever food!
Sarah Heemstra | UMass Lowell | Facility Operations and Intramural Sports Intern | 4 years as a student, 1 year as an intern, and soon will be the RPAC Facility Operations GA at Ohio State! | Bread
Demitri Lahanas, Arizona State U, Coordinator for Facilities and Operations, Chick Fil A everything
Chris Ell - coordinator of events at the university of west Georgia - 6 months —- pasta
Chris Porras. University of Houston. Graduate Assistant for Operations. 4 years in the field
Amie Simmons- Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness, Northwestern University. 5ish years professional experience not including 2 year GA| Tacos!
Crystal Dooley, University of Colorado, Team Sports Coordinator, 2 years as a professional.
Derick Hurst, Graduate Assistant at Georgia Southern University. In the search process. Chicken Wings FLATS ONLY
Joel Arancibia. Florida International University. Facility Operations Coordinator. 1st year professional. Peruvian food.
@Kevin Omlets are a fantastic choice.
I normally have more chatting and checking in with my direct super, and now we are meeting for longer times less often. it’s odd, and hard sometimes because I work early and my direct support is more in the afternoon/evening
00:39:28NAU - Crystal Durham
Same as Colin ^^ we used to chat basically every day and now we are having officially scheduled meetings twice a week; I started having to make lists of things to discuss because otherwise I would forget once we finally met
the “is this stupid?” pop-in is gone 😭
At UW Seattle, my team and I have been doing well to keep our work and home schedules separate. I never really get any emails or chats outside of 9-5
supervisor and I have a mutual agreement that main contact must be had during the work hours of 9am-5pm. any time before or after that, the issue must be urgent or else she wouldn't be contacting me
Same as Colin! We are meeting less frequently but when we do it's almost always 2 hour Zoom calls. We aren't having students work from home so I am not having students reach out about work things but now it's more personal things they're dealing with.
We are at UGA
We ended our office hours after finals ended
Personally, I think this has been great for my work/life balance. I have a tendency to end up staying at the office later than I should, so this has helped my personal life balance a lot
I agree Courtney!
I second Courtney.
00:41:40NAU - Crystal Durham
honestly, same lol
00:41:53NAU - Crystal Durham
not having IM games until 11pm is good for work/life balance, it turns out
But also, with no high risk programs at night, no officials to evaluate, its much easier to not work past 5 or 6pm
same, a lot more flexibility!
I agree with Courtney, positional check ins are what we moved to at WVU as well.
can confirm Dom's supervisor is a rockstar
@Shana well said. there's no reason from us to stay later than what we're used to
4th year as a pro I decided it was worth it to delete my mail app on my phone and not touch email outside of work - easily the best boundary I’ve set. Nothing in email is an emergency, you do NOT need to check that outside of your work day…
I have weekly one on one's with my direct supervisor and also have weekly meetings with my staff to check in. Being new to my position, at the beginning, I didn't have any boundaries with my staff. I would hear my phone go off and instantly responded and I also gave them all my personal cell phone number and gave them too much leeway with it. I had to reset the boundaries which has been really hard.
I wish 😢
i think it's difficult to have that mentality when you are a grad student and also have school work to do. I know how to "shut it off" for work, but then it transitions to class.
Gia that's a super common problem in our department. There are times where I won't answer them at all if they text me on a sunday night at 8pm with a non-essential question.
I don't have the option of turning off phone/email. Mainly prioritize what needs attention immediately after hours. It can be tricky to balance at times in normal operations.
I would say the same. I often would stay at work to complete homework or things like that
stop working so hard, Cassie!!
Gia is a superstar!
Gia IS a s uperstar, she started right before the shutdown as a undergrad manager filling in four our coordinator on maternity leave and she is KILLING IT.
Does anyone else feel that their Department has benefited from this time? In looking for a silver lining in all of this I think our relationships have strengthened and I’m excited to see how it impacts future work and collaborations.
Yes, I also told Cheyanne to go home several times lol
Thank you Shana and Cheyanne! :)
Literally every day Courtney would tell me to go home.
Corrine- yes I think it has been somewhat helpful for some things. We were really needing a revamp on emergency action plans so
that has been a huge project for me since COVID
I have to send in a weekly "this is what I've done" list similar to what you've described, Tess, and it's been helping in writing my semester eval to talk about all the things I've done
Corrine - Yes. Kind of a “distance makes the heart grow fonder” situation for us in my opinion
00:52:08Maria Lauron-Ramos (Princeton)
Transitioning from a GA to professional- that is definitely important to note that you have to set your own boundaries and speak up for yourself. You won’t have your supervisor to remind you about everything.
independence as a GA is odd. you're still a student, but being treated as a professional. spread your wings, baby birds!! we're here to help you fly
Yes Corinne - I think the relationships with student staff have strengthened, and we're able to work on a lot of projects that normally would be tabled for "summer" and then never get done
one thing I did as a GA and have continued to do is to email weekly priorities on Monday and to include a reflection on the priorities from the previous week
we have hourly schedules we send to our direct supports so they can show the president in the case that they want to cut hours or pay
nice bird analogy, Dom. Must be that penguin influence
00:54:11Chelsea Randolph - Texas A&M University
naps are definitely needed!
00:54:20Maria Lauron-Ramos (Princeton)
The processes you are planning now, think long term on sustainability - how would this fit into working back in office together.
Colin - how are you going with your EAPs? That is one of the projects I am needing to work on as well at QU!
I wish I could bring my dog back to the office
For us at Curry we are talking about how Intramurals will be different. What sports we could run etc
I think this has opened up the opportunity for virtual components of training
In general we're looking at taking more things digital. Do we need to actually have in-person meetings with all of our staff or can we have Zoom meetings? With budget being a huge concern we're looking at taking a lot of our trainings virtual
Greg- it’s been awesome to have the time to dedicate to it. I am revamping our entire manual and breaking into a training series to implement as we start back up in a new space after renovation.
I am trying to think of ways to get my staff to train as officials with different sports. I don't know many websites that offer trainings
I wrote about this in Campus Rec Magazine as well and the importance of long term connections
00:57:08NAU - Crystal Durham
Renadi, NFHS has a handful of trainings that are currently free through July 1 I think; we've offered those as optional for our officials
Get involved! Serve on committees, work teams, etc. It doesn't cost you anything but your time!
Apply for committees, work teams, etc. - we are ALWAYS looking for fresh eyes and new people!
Talking with your supervisors about your goals and seeing who they can connect you to from their personal networks.
Thank you very much! I will look into it
it’s not who you know, it is who knows you
^ @Derick nailed it
I am a GA, on my way out, and the hiring freeze has had me waiting over a month for a response, and postponed the interviews scheduled until after, cancelled some positions I applied for, etc. How has the professional job search been working for others?
00:58:40Maria Lauron-Ramos (Princeton)
Don’t be afraid to reach out to individuals! Shoot them an email as a follow-up after a RoundTable.
And you have to make us know who you are. We get caught up maintaining the same relationships we always have, and it can be intimidating for new or younger pros to break into our networks. Make us notice you! Bust into our networks, be unafraid and unashamed to introduce yourself.
Never forget your business cards. I started a collection 2 years ago. They’re like baseball cards, except way more valuable
While I'm not in the position to look for jobs yet, I know the second years in my graduate program who are applying for jobs are also experiencing that difficulty, Colin.
No one in this profession is too busy for your time and won’t blow you off - if someone’s presentation or work inspires you, reach out! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. From an introvert perspective this is hard, but will totally open doors for you
Echo x 1000000 what Allie said!!
I spent my entire undergrad/grad career in region 2 and moved to region 4 as a professional. A piece of advice I could give is to connect with people across different regions/organizations. It makes the transition a lot easier if you ever move regions
00:59:59Chelsea Randolph - Texas A&M University
Zoom DMs 😂
seconding Courtney Rorex's statement! went from Region 1 in undergrad, to Region 5 in grad, to Region 3 as a professional
Reach out and talk to professionals. Join in on NIRSA committees. Basically echoing Allie.
different regions do things differently, so networking outside of your regions is a good way to get a brain blast
Yes @Domonique ^ great point
100% agree with Dom. I’ve lived/worked/volunteered in all 6 regions and each one is uniquely different and offers so much experience and perspective
I would encourage people to find creative ways to expand their network. We had a virtual spelling bee with people that had not met each other before from different regions and program areas. It was a blast and a great way to meet new people!
01:04:04Colin Haggerty (EMU - email@example.com)
it’s a tough one!!!
de finite ly (if you can spell finite you can do it!
Myself and a few other folks in the field just finished up a "Leaders Eat Last" bookclub and it was awesome! I got to meet some people I had never met before and we are already talking about getting together at the next conference
You are 100% a young pro Cheyanne
2 years GA is the equivalent of 1 year professional experience - all recreational entry-level jobs ever
Y’all are the sweetest hahaha thanks for the support
Plug for the NIRSA Mentor/Mentee program, too.. you can sign up for either role to expand your network. https://nirsa.net/nirsa/connect/mentor-program/
^which is challenging if you only do 1 year of a GA and then have to do internship or practicum for your school program
Well said Michael
01:05:55Colin Haggerty (EMU - firstname.lastname@example.org)
we’re totally young pros 💪🏼
Happy to talk to any of you about your interest in serving on various committees, work teams, etc. or any questions you have. Feel free to drop me an email regardless of your region affiliation (email@example.com)
Get a membership with a different organization. Attend a conference other than NIRSA. See how you can take your skills and apply them to other outlets in higher education and learn from others
Highly recommend Athletic Business Conference, when we get money back for professional development :(
^yes! NASPA, ACPA, AORE, AB are all great options
I am chairing the Young Donor’s Work Team focused on young professional fundraising for NIRSA and have been on a few other NIRSA teams. I also supervise a professional staff. Feel free to reach out anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org
my supervisor always forces us to eat/sit with people we don't know at conferences. if she sees it, she may or may not nudge us to lol
If anyone wants to connect about literally anything, I’ve been in every program area, every region, and am heavily involved in the Champ Series, so feel free to drop me a line! email@example.com
I would reiterate what Dom said. Joy forces us to step out of our comfort zone which has been helpful meeting new people!
Expect the unexpected. I’m sure all my first year pros can say this year is NOT what we expected lol
I know when I am at conferences, I will schedule down time so I can be chatting with people at socials.
Lean into the discomfort! Also learn to say no. It's really easy to feel the need to get involved in everything and overwhelm yourself.
01:10:40Colin Haggerty (EMU - firstname.lastname@example.org)
what to expect when anxiously awaiting a job opportunity 😂
I'm 3 months in and this is the last thing I expected!
01:10:45NAU - Crystal Durham
my main point when I was a new pro at a new school was to not come in and make 1000 changes. Just see how the program operates before you try to change too much
If you work in Aquatics, AOAP (Association of Aquatics Professionals) is a great resource!
Are you asking for the process of obtaining a job/interviewing or what to expect once you actually start working?
Set your expectations/boundaries early and stick to it!
National Drowning Prevention Coalition is great for Aquatics as well
Tips before the interview: have your resume looked at by an absurd amount of individuals. The more the merrier. For the interview portion, ask around to other rec colleagues on what their hardest questions have been to answer. This will help you learn how to answer those tough questions on the spot
Great points, Jade! Knowing what you want is so important
Be a sponge and try and take in as much info as you can
Yes, do not settle. Know your non negotiable
I echo Eric - never stop getting your resume and cover letter reviewed, and take notes from other pros about questions and how to frame answers. Prepare for everything.
I asked a ton of questions when being onboarded, even if they felt silly. I think you’ll be surprised what people are willing to answer and help with. You’re a professional, but people don’t expect you to be perfect.
You’re interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.
Sit back and learn, observe, build relationships. Know how you work best and ways that you don’t work well. Set clear expectations and boundaries with your supervisor. If it isn’t a good personal fit for you outside of the job? You spend 66% of your time outside of work so you better love it/feel connected to the job & institution…
01:13:00Colin Haggerty (EMU - email@example.com)
Has anyone been able to move forward at all with the interview process during this? I had my last and only during COVID on April 1. I had gone there the night before they closed so I had gone back and did a virtual interview a couple of weeks later.
Currently laughing out loud... 😂
most universities are on some form of freeze. We had to stop a search the week we had on-campuses scheduled
Benefits……I’m stressed just hearing that
01:13:53NAU - Crystal Durham
I completely second Stephanie
don’t leave it up to chance or interpretation! Ask all the questions
01:14:12Maria Lauron-Ramos (Princeton)
I’m not the type to ask questions either.. the first couple of days I didn’t want to ask questions. However, they expect for you to ask questions. So do it! They want to help you the best they can.
Something else to consider: on an on-campus interview, the staff and department will probably look a whole lot different than they usually are. Everyone is putting on their best face for a new candidate. Really try to ask good and in depth questions so you can get a feel for all of the pro staff, students, and department climate.
If you don’t ask questions you are operating in the unknown and maybe could have saved time by gaining the clarity
01:14:47NAU - Crystal Durham
my first week I walked up the stairs to ask my supervisor questions at least 6 times a day. Got adjusted to the altitude really quickly that way
Get to know your students/staff first and your job second! Your students/staff are why you do what you do. They are your greatest resource!
1st round interview: ball is in their court. 2nd round interview: ball is in your court.
Set clear expectations of how your 1:1 time is used with your supervisor (what do you need, what do they want from you, etc). Set those communication boundaries & expectations too — my supervisor officiates and I understand that when he emails me at 9pm he doesn’t expect me to respond. We keep what we need (outside of emergencies) to normal work hours. Also - setting clear expectations on what flex time looks like and how you can use it, what your days off look like, etc.
Ask for growth. There is always more. Learn, learn, and learn some more.
I definitely asked my supervisor questions for a very long time until I knew enough to be able to make a decision without his information
Don't forget about your own professional development! As a student/GA, pros are constantly pouring into you. As a pro you may not get that as frequently from your supervisors. Seek out mentors and new opportunities to continue growing as a professional.
01:15:51Maria Lauron-Ramos (Princeton)
Be your own advocate at the end of the day. Because no one can read your mind. Everyone has their responsibilities as well. If you need to, set a meeting with your supervisor or even other admin— and ask the questions you may have.
My first goal at a new job is to learn all of my student employees names by the second day of training. With 45 students directly reporting to me, it’s a challenge but not impossible. I then work on getting to know the other students in our department.
I put it on my calendar to leave my office and walk the building to meet student
when i'm sharing wifi with 5 others.... sorry Tom!
when you find a mentor in the field - whether they are at your institution or somewhere else, maintain that relationship and keep it going when you’re at your second job, your third job, and so on.
When it comes to interviews: Pay attention when it feels more like a conversation than a type business meeting.
01:18:44Greg Tack - Quinnipiac
We just started the Club Sports program at Quinnipiac; this first year was a new journey for everyone!
Take notes during the interview - write down key things they say, or things that strike you as interesting or memorable, and then you have a foundation to reiterate an idea or quote and ask about it.
Kinda specific question but what are some ways y’all gauged the budget situation at the institutions you interviewed with? This pandemic has hit budgets pretty hard across the board and is there a way to tactfully ask about this (for once interviewing picks back up)? Will it come up organically?
Unfortunately I have another zoom meeting to get to. Thank you for all the great information!
Thank you, Paul!
the budget was actually one of the first things that was discussed during my on-campus interview. I appreciated that transparency because it was clear what I did and did not have control over
01:21:59Maria Lauron-Ramos (Princeton)
Yes, Drake! I second that for sure!
Budget conversations are going to look very different now because of COVID. We are being told we won't know our budget for the 2020-2021 FY until possibly the end of June because of all the COVID implications.
Thank y’all so much - this is really helpful
01:24:15Greg Tack - Quinnipiac
Same with us Courtney\
What's your best interview question for entry level jobs post grad program?
Try to schedule as much time as you can at the location around the interview (if they’re giving you an option to fly in a day earlier or out a day later - take it!)
what is the culture of the department? is my go-to question, especially when meeting with all of the pro staff. pay attention to how silent or silly they get
I always ask interviewers what success looks like for the person in the position I’m interviewing for.
Do you have any reservations for me as a candidate for this position?
Agree with Domonique - that question can be really telling
01:26:59Maria Lauron-Ramos (Princeton)
Back to last words for students: You may not have everything figure out, and that’s okay! Know what keeps you grounded and speak with your support system. The journey will be challenging and just know to trust the process!
YES ERIC BECKER!
what challenges is the department facing and what was the best experience in the department?
I often find it is the questions they ask you that gives you more insight vs. what you ask them
Eric always has bomb questions
For the Department wife interview, I like to ask each person to define the department’s culture in one word without repeating. It gets you a lot of information in a short amount of time and is pretty well received.
01:27:37Colin Haggerty (EMU - firstname.lastname@example.org)
yes, challenges has felt like it was a strong topic to bring up in my interviews
Eric said that question in your SSL Panel at Region 2, and I have never not asked it.
Ask about student and department culture
Corrine bet me too it lol
Ask questions that allow you to figure out if the dept/university is genuinely connected to their students or out of touch with them. If that’s important to you, that can be challenging in a position
Our Exec Director refers to us as the "Disney World of Campus"
we ARE Disney World
Ask about life outside the university. How do people connect and develop relationships out of work?
Ask about cost of living!!!
^I agree with Allie, you can also tell by how involved students are in the interview process.
I ask the director “where they would like to see someone in this position be in a year, three years and five years?” Allows you to see their expectations and shows you would be committed to being at that institution
thank you Thomas and Cheyanne!!
01:29:13Colin Haggerty (EMU - email@example.com)
Thank you so much!!!
Congrats to any grads!!!!
YOU WILL ALL GET JOBS!
thank you for hosting!
If anyone ver needs anything, advice, resume review, anything, feel free to let me know! Always willing to help!
Best hosts ever
01:29:34NAU - Crystal Durham
It's only 11am here :(
01:29:35Maria Lauron-Ramos (Princeton)
Nice seeing you all!
Thank you everyone! Have a great weekend.
If you leave the profession, you can ALWAYS come back