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Zach Weyher


Practicum Midterm

The environment my practicum takes place in is awesome. It is in the same building that I

work at every day, but it is completely different at the same time. This is a great experience for

me because in vastly increases my experience in campus recreation. As I move forward with my

career with the eventual goal of becoming a director of campus recreation it is imperative that I

have a diverse set of skills, not just limited to intramurals. Risk management is an extremely

important aspect of any job so all experience helps.

My mentor for the practicum is Gene Sherry. He is the Executive Director of Campus

Recreation and Intramurals, which is the organization I am assisting. I have not had too much

trouble orienting myself with the others who work for Campus Recreation and Intramurals since

I work with them on a daily basis. Although it would be a great challenge to work with a new

group, I am thankful that I get to work with the great people that I do day in and day out. I

would rank this experience so far a 4. The only thing that would make this experience better is if

I could network with people I have never met before. I dont think I would be able to have this

experience with an organization I am not familiar with due to the amount of trust that goes along

with risk management and the precautions you must take.

Transferrable skills are an absolute necessary when you plan to prepare your portfolio.

Everything you do in an internship or in your classes is not going to directly correlate to the

profession of your choice. You must find the skills and learning lessons from those experiences

and find a way to apply those in your profession. My practicum is helping me do this through
organizational and management skills. These are two things that I can take back to my job in

intramurals and use in both the management of scheduling and staff or even in refereeing


There are several eye openers that I wasnt aware about when you deal with managing risk.

The first thing that shocked me was how much actual risk there is that is necessary to manage.

There is risk involved in just about everything. In a building over 200,000 square feet, anything

and every can present a risk. It is hard to manage a space that large and make sure that

everything is operating properly. Hazards are not just limited to areas with chemicals or sharp

objects like the pump room of a pool or a maintenance closet, hazards can come from something

like a water fountain malfunctioning or shorts in circuits.

It is imperative to be extremely organized when you have over 400 employees. All

employees at the RAC must be first aid and CPR certified, and it is the job of the risk

management team to manage those certification expirations and train the employees who either

need the refresher course or are going through the course for the first time. If you are not

organized with this vast number of employees, it is extremely easy to make mistakes. Creating a

process to ensure that none fall through the cracks is just as important as the actual training itself.

My administrator and I have pretty similar philosophies. We are both individualistic in

nature so he allows me to do the work on my own. This aspect I like because it allows me to do

some exploring on my own. I like to learn through trial and error so this requires a manager who

doesnt micromanage.

One area where we have different administrative philosophies is how structured we are in

administration. One thing that I am trying to incorporate more into my philosophies are more

touch points with those I am managing. I historically havent been a huge fan of repeating
meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page. I am beginning to see that those touch points

are extremely necessary in order to make sure everything for a project is progressing.

There are lots of certifications within the area of risk management. One area I would like to

expand my knowledge is in the area of aquatics and outdoor adventures. In both of these areas I

have minimal experience in both of these areas, which are two of the larger risk areas in campus

recreation. It is imperative that I have experience in both areas in order to advance in my career.

This practicum is giving me a good basic exposure to both of these areas, but in the future I

would like to pursue some lifeguard or wilderness certifications.