Years with ASI: 2009-2011 two years
Job Title: Campus Recreation Grad Assistant
Graduation Date: June 2011
Major: MBA Marketing Management
Current position title: Programs Supervisor, Intramural Sports and Sport Clubs
Company: Aztec Recreation, Associated Students, San Diego State University
Why did you apply to work for Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Cal Poly Pomona (CPP)?
I was at a National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) conference in Charlotte, N.C. and I applied for the Grad assistant position. I did not know about ASI at that time, I just knew there was a position that interested me.
You were a Grad student majoring in Marketing. Why did you want to work in Campus Recreation at ASI?
I played college baseball for fours years at Cabrillo junior college near Santa Cruz, Calif. Then I went to Indiana Tech in Northern Indiana and I played baseball as well. I played pitcher. I came back from Indiana to finish my undergrad at Sonoma State University. When I was at Sonoma I got involved working with their Intramural Sports department and Sport Club department. I enjoyed that atmosphere and wanted to continue to work in that field.
What skills did you learn while at ASI? How has this helped you in your current job?
While working at ASI I learned how to take more of a leadership role as an employee and began to focus on developing the student staff. I was heavily involved in the Intramural Sports program, while also working in the Bronco Fitness Center as a personal trainer. I also learned how to manage my time, set calendar reminders and prioritize my tasks. With meetings, classes and training appointments throughout the day, it wasn’t uncommon for me to spend 12 hours on the CPP campus. It never bothered me because there are certainly much worse places to spend your time than on a college campus learning and interacting with great people.
Tell me about your current job and what you do. What do you like most about your current job?
After graduating from CPP and taking the skills I learned from that experience, I accepted a position at San Diego State University working at the Recreation Center on campus. I currently oversee the Intramural Sports and Sport Club programs on campus. Working in recreation is a blast! It is such an inspiring environment where you are surrounded by great people with positive attitudes. I have a lot of creative freedom at my current position where I can implement new programs, enhance training methods and provide students with opportunities to learn and gain some great skills. I also have opportunities to push myself and continue to learn.
What is the best advice you can give to a current CPP student?
Don’t be in such a rush to graduate and leave college. That is a time in your life where you can soak up as much knowledge as possible and have access to so many resources. Get to know your way around the library, take advantage of the computer lab, attend study sessions and visit your teachers during their office hours. Build those relationships because making connections and shaking hands really do help you in your career. Graduating and being thrust into the real world can be a scary thing. If you build a solid network at CPP, your chances of finding a job and advancing in your career increase. But as with most things, life is all about balance. Don’t forget to have fun and act a little crazy.
What is your favorite sport? If you could bring a new sport to CPP, what would it be and why?
I love baseball. It’s what I played in college and it continues to be my passion. We have a baseball team at CPP but I think the university could really benefit from having a football team. That would bring a lot of camaraderie to the university and add some excitement to the fall quarter.
What is the one thing you wish you would have done at CPP that escaped you?
I wish I had the time to do an internship where I could have helped manage a marketing plan for a local business. This would have given me an opportunity to learn about a completely new business, possibly in an industry that I wasn’t familiar with. This would have forced me to step out of my comfort zone and push myself to become acquainted with new policies, methods of business and a whole new group of consumers. It’s important to understand that you can learn something from everything. Every situation, good or bad provides takeaways that can help you prepare for the next time that situation comes along.
What do you miss about ASI?
I miss the staff I was working with. The full-time staff that really embraced me as part of their family, and the part-time student staff that made each day a blast. I appreciate the relationships I built with the participants of Intramural Sports and members of the Bronco Fitness Center. There was so much support, not only for my work responsibilities, but for my school responsibilities as well. I remember when I was writing my thesis, I would spend the day working, spend the evening in class, and then head back to the office to continue writing. My boss, Shelbi Long would allow me to spend as much time as I needed in [her office], plugging away at my paper. She was a great mentor for me and we remain close to this day.
What is the one thing you would change about ASI?
That’s a tough question to answer. The thing that was always missing was a Recreation Center. Now that the BRIC is slated to open this year, I feel satisfied. I can’t wait to come back and visit that facility!
What surprises you the most since you graduated?
A diploma is more than something that just hangs on the wall. When you’re in college, a lot of students just want to get that diploma because they feel doors will open automatically. Well, that’s not always the case. In fact, that’s rarely the case because without sustainable knowledge to pair with that diploma, you might as well stay in school. Don’t think a diploma is going to solve your problems. Work hard to learn as much as you can and learn things that will stick with you. Work hard to learn information in a way that you will remember it in five years. Don’t just study for a test and then drop the information because the test is over. Read actual cases studies, review real-life examples, discuss with classmates so the information really resonates with you and you can refer back to that knowledge down the road.
What was your most memorable moment at CPP?
Walking across that stage during graduation. I put so much hard work into those two years―that was the moment I had been waiting for.