In preparation for the upcoming Recreation, Park & Tourism Career Focus Fair, I reached out to SPH Alumni Mentor Erin Policinski. Ms. Policinski graduated from IU in 2000 with a BS in Outdoor Recreation before going on to obtain her MS in Recreation and Park Administration in 2003. Currently, she serves as the Aquatics Director at the Monroe County YMCA.
What sparked your interest in this career?
I have always loved the YMCA and had a passion for organizations that make a significant impact in their communities. I have a strong background in aquatics, management, and youth development, so when an opportunity to get involved with the Y presented itself, I was able to take advantage of it.
How did you decide to pursue this career path?
I believe strongly that communities need organizations that inspire and affect positive change, and I have always sought out work with those types of organizations. The Y is a perfect example of an organization that is the total package of an organization making a positive impact on its community.
During your time at IU, what helped you reach your career goals?
Exploring the options available to me through classes and internships was extremely valuable. I also spent time talking with professors, networking at as many events/job fairs/conferences I could attend to broaden my lens and just see what was out there. Knowledge was key for me.
What does a typical day look like in this field?
There is no typical day, but most days are full of office work, member service (think making meaningful connections), planning, and problem solving.
What skills are beneficial to have in this field?
Adaptability, compassion, listening skills, planning/strategic thinking, be an innovator, develop trust, have a sense of risk management, and have a love of people.
What advice do you wish you could give to yourself as an undergraduate?
Enjoy it. Take some classes outside of the HPER (SPH now) to have an even better understanding of business and leadership in the professional realm. And throw in a fun class for at least a semester that has nothing to do with your major.
Take Ms. Policinski’s advice and explore your options at the Recreation, Park & Tourism Career Focus Fair today from 10:30am to 1pm.
Erika Wheeler is a Junior pursuing a degree in Community Health. As a native of Bloomington with no college aspirations, she grew up thinking of Indiana University as nothing but a big pain in her small hometown. She has since changed her mind.
IUSPH Career Services
Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:
•resume and cover letter preparation
•graduate school preparation