As we celebrate the momentous occasion of the 50th Anniversary of NRPA and the upcoming Annual Conference this September, the Young Professional Network has organized a virtual “road trip” out West, making “stops” at COAPRT accredited schools along the way.
Our first stop was with Ole Miss where we learned about their Recreation Administration program, but today we’re stretching our legs on the campus of the University of Missouri. Mr. Jason Young, the career specialist and internship coordinator in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (PRT) at Mizzou lets us in on what their program is up to!
With more than 450 students enrolled in four different emphasis areas from Sport Management, Leisure Services, Natural Resources and Tourism, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism is one of the fastest growing departments on the University of Missouri campus. The department takes great strides in providing professional development opportunities to its students both on and off campus from resume reviews and mock interviews to employer panels as well as day trips to Kansas City and St. Louis for networking opportunities with several organizations.
A crucial aspect to student learning is focused on our internship program which is the capstone requirement for all of our undergraduate students. As part of the internship experience, students work full-time for 12 weeks with an organization in the field of parks, recreation and tourism, along with completing special projects. A big focus of the program is to balance the academic and experiential aspect whereby students are also asked to volunteer for 100 hours in different areas of the field, thus being able to start gaining experience.
Students who have graduated from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism have achieved positions at organizations such as the Houston Astros, Kansas City Chiefs, Yellowstone National Park, Disney and others.
As part of a class focused on programming, Mizzou PRT students assisted with the planning and execution of hosting the SEC Tennis Championship in 2014. They worked with the event staff and the marketing crew to coordinate the logistics of the championship tournament.
We organized a PRT St. Louis sport and recreation trip with 10 of our brightest students. On the two-day trip, we visited seven St. Louis area facilities and met with more than 20 professionals, including the River City Rascals, O’Fallon Parks and Rec, Peabody Opera House, St. Louis Blues, St. Louis Cardinals, Saint Louis Football Club and Chesterfield Parks and Recreation. Students were able to hear first-hand from professionals about their experiences and career paths. Students also received tours, presentations and participated in Q&A sessions.
We require all of our students to complete internships before graduating. Last year we had approximately 150 students complete internships, all over the country, ranging from Alaska to Florida, New York to California.
Looking for more information about the University of Missouri's PRT program? Check out our Facebook page!
Let us know what you think about the NC2NV road trip in the comments below or tweet us @NRPA_news.
Jason Young is the career specialist and internship coordinator in the department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Missouri.