Zachary Brogan

On the path to outdoor leadership
Zach Brogan '24 is a Recreation Management and Policy major from Hopkinton, NH.

Zach Brogan '24 is a Recreation Management and Policy major from Glen, New Hampshire.

Why did you choose your major? What do you want to do with your degree?

I lived in Glen, New Hampshire until the end of 7th grade. I was interviewed and chosen by KISMET Rock Climbing Foundation for a rock climbing scholarship that would be for one week each summer for four years. That was the start of my involvement with rock climbing. The same group of students would meet each summer and continue to learn and be challenged in the sport. Many students are picked from the inner city that don’t get the mountain experience. This gave me a new perspective on how teenagers from urban areas live. 

I moved away from the mountains after 7th grade, however I continued going to KISMET for three more years. In the summer of 2019, a donor in my town of Hopkinton, New Hampshire gave my high school a scholarship to Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Newry, Maine. I was awarded this opportunity based on my perseverance through my years in high school.  

These outdoor activities I was a part of sealed the deal for me and are why I wanted to get an education that was based around the outdoors. Looking ahead, I would like to get involved with Search and Rescue. 

I would have liked to have done an internship this summer, but many outdoor programs were cancelled (due to the pandemic). If I did do an internship, I would love to go to Acadia, Outward Bound, KISMET or an outdoor program near the ocean so I can go surfing in my free time. 

What are your thoughts on the current climate regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and how you see it affecting the outdoor industry, both in the short and long term?

I recently moved back to Glen from southern New Hampshire and it's much busier than I expected. Many people from the suburbs of other New England states are buying second homes or relocating because they can work from home. There are more bike riders, the golf courses are busy, and the hiking trails are packed, which isn’t a good thing for COVID-19, however it's great to see folks engaged in exercise. It also helps the economy in the northern counties of New Hampshire. 

For students in the Outdoor Leadership and Management program, this is a positive thing as more people are becoming active which means more outdoor leaders will be needed to guide and teach programs like rock climbing, hiking, and kayaking.  

What is your advice for students who may be thinking about a career in the outdoor industry? Please share your experiences in the program and how they are helping to prepare you for a career after UNH.

If you don’t want to sit at a desk all day, the Outdoor Leadership and Management Program will provide you with an array of courses leading to a degree that will open up many outdoor career opportunities that you may not know exist. I have wonderful teachers here that truly love their job at UNH. It's not just about the grade you receive. They want to make sure you are learning. I’m a visual learner, and with three out of four classes face-to-face, I’m enjoying this semester. If my classes were all online, I wouldn’t have the same learning experience and I would lose interest.