The opportunity to complete the Park and Recreation Maintenance Management School at Oglebay Resort has been like a shot of adrenalin to my career in the parks and recreation field. I had campaigned to attend the Maintenance Management School while a full-time Park Technician at Five Rivers MetroParks in Dayton, Ohio.
I received approval and attended my first year in January of 2013. In October of 2013 I was promoted to Park Manager. I completed the second year and graduated in January of 2014. In October of 2014 I was again promoted; this time to Park Project Manager.
There is no doubt that attending the Maintenance Management School was a factor in both of my promotions.
The most obvious thing about the school is the passion that the instructors bring to class each and every day. The instructors are seasoned and well-respected leaders that know how to convey and teach the concepts of the parks and recreation industry. They are not just repeating facts and figures, but bring real-world examples and solutions to problems that we all face in the field.
You come away from class with new ideas and ways to face everyday challenges. The ideas from across the country brought forth by other students encourage spirited debate and open interaction that will also open your eyes to new ways of dealing with issues.
Course content for both years is relevant and right on the mark. You are instructed on what is important and needed, and nothing that is not. No fluff here; just open, frank and honest instruction by people who know parks and recreation.
The instruction builds on itself from one year to the next, with basic operational subjects such as planning, organization, time and financial management covered in year one. More specific issues such as sustainability, wildlife, trails and the exercise in developing a maintenance plan culminate in the second year.
Attending the Maintenance Management School gave me the instruction, tools and insight to successfully advance my career. You will come away from the school a better leader, manager and employee, having learned from the industry leaders in the park and recreation field.
The school has helped me, and I am sure it will help you too.
How would you leverage professional development opportunities such as Maintenance Management School to advance your career? Share in the comments or tweet us @NRPA_News.
Richard V. Alder, CPRP, is the Park Project Manager at Five Rivers MetroParks in Dayton, Ohio.