Parks, recreation and tourism management

Application Assignment Title: Career Exploration
Assignment Rationale:
This experience-based assignment allows students to explore possible career trajectories and creates the opportunity to investigate various work settings and populations served. At the conclusion of this exploration, students will be asked to share their experiences so that other students are exposed to the professional opportunities available in the leisure service industry.
Style:  Reflective, Descriptive, Business Correspondence
Audience: Supervisor, Colleagues
Where is this type of writing used? Program reports, letters and correspondence
Points Possible: 
What are the instructors looking for me to accomplish in this assignment?

Describe the nature of agencies and businesses delivering leisure services along with an overview of career opportunities that exist within the profession.
Develop a strategy for making the transition from a recreation student to a recreation professional
Describe the preparation and skills needed to enter the leisure service profession
Analyze programs, services and resources in relationship to participant needs and requirements.

Assignment Requirements:
Step 1. Select a leisure service career of your choice to investigate. 
Step 2. You want to have an in-depth conversation with a professional (NOT a family member or close friend working in the field) who holds a job that you may one day want to have.  It is best if you can meet them in person.  If not, scheduling a time for a phone call will work.  Emailing them the questions and them typing the responses is NOT the way to complete this assignment.  You are cheating yourself and being rude to the professional.  
Step 3. Interview the professional about:

overview of their agency
overview of their career path to get where they are
overview of their advice to an emerging professional
their frustrations with new employees
current trends and issues affecting the leisure service industry
what professional associations are they aware of that could help support their jobs
most rewarding and most challenging aspects of their jobs
entry level salary ranges (NOT how much this job pays), required education/certifications, and other necessary components for an entry-level job in their agency

Please note: Add additional questions based on things you want to know.  Do not just rely on this list to guide you! 

Step 4: Synthesize your learning by writing a summary paper of the results of your interview. Include a final paragraph that includes personal reflection and insights from you as an individual as you consider your future goals, ambitions, and what you learned from speaking with the professional (max. 3 pages). The entirety of these documents should describe the career exploration in ways that thoughtfully integrate the entire experience and relate to concepts discussed in class.

Documents should follow the Program Standards for Written Work (APA Format) and thank you email should follow be a professional business correspondence. 
Tips on Being Successful:

Use this unique opportunity to learn all you can about one chosen career path. You can build on contacts you have made so far in other classes, your own connections, or cold call someone.
Remember it is not just who you know; but who knows you! Consider professional behavior (communication, presentation of self, etc.) as a first impression.
Write detailed and descriptive notes during your conversation so you can remember what you discussed.
Cover each topic covered in the assignment requirements and be specific in your examples and explanations. Create and use an outline to be sure you cover it all.
Aim for both clarity and content in your writing and check to see that all portions of the assignment that were requested are present.

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