When I returned in 2011 from a yearlong deployment with the New Hampshire Army National Guard to Iraq and Kuwait, I found part time job after part time job. While I was overseas, my passion for the outdoors really became poignant in my life. When I came home I knew I had to do something with that passion, I just didn’t know what or how. I was tired of doing jobs that were just a paycheck and I wanted more. I sought to find a career that I could wake up excited about each and every day. Then along came the Program Administration major, part of the Recreation Management and Policy program at the University of New Hampshire. I was finally able to put to use my passion for the natural world by learning how to provide memorable and healthy recreation opportunities for others. This major provides endless opportunities to explore the recreation field from small town rec departments to multimillion dollar commercial settings.
My most memorable experience in the department was when a group of students and I came together collaborating with the Make a Wish Foundation of New Hampshire and UNH Club Hockey team to put on a charitable event. It was a group of five fellow RMP students who were responsible for designing, marketing, implementing, and evaluating the event. The most memorable moment for me was when I went around the stadium with the children from the Make a Wish program passing out t-shirts to spectators. It was amazing to watch how much enjoyment these kids experienced by being an active part of the event.
After leaving UNH I have many hopeful plans. The recreation field so large and there are so many niche markets it can be hard to narrow ones search. I hope to work for a municipal recreation department or something similar to gain experience. I can also see myself working as a program director more related to the fitness industry. In the future, I would love to be involved with an outdoor leadership program. I would love to be able to influence youth and teach them important life skills such as time management, leadership skills, and the importance of physical fitness.
My favorite aspect of the program is that there are countless opportunities to learn from working professionals in the field. To learn from professionals actually doing the jobs brings a whole new level of learning that is sometimes forgotten. I also value the variety of classes offered to complement any students’ interests.
I would absolutely recommend University of New Hampshire Recreation Management and Policy for future RMP students because of the campus’ close proximity to a variety of recreation opportunities from the mountains to the sea.