ParkTalk Podcast S34 Episode 01: Internships

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Episode description:

Brad Wilson, executive director of the Naperville Park District, recalls highlights of his internship, which began his career at the District over 24 years ago, and he shares advice for college students currently seeking internships.

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Quotes from the episode:

"I attended the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, which has a very strong program for this type of profession. As I was finishing my studies there, the completion of an internship was a requirement, so I searched out the available opportunities and Naperville had an opportunity at the time, so I was fortunate to be able to come on board." - Brad Wilson

"Overall, it was a great experience. I was given the opportunity to work in the recreation department, under two program managers. For those who may not know, program managers put together all of the programs, activities and events that we offer to the community. They gave me different program responsibilities to where I had to manage those programs, create different program ideas, which means developing the budget, the description, determining what staff is needed and seeing the program all the way through. I also gained an understanding of how the organization worked, and how all of the different departments come together as an organization to provide services for the community."
- Brad Wilson

"My first piece of advice (to those looking for an internship) is to try to find an internship with an organization that will give you a different experience from what you have had in the past. The second thing I would say is during your internship, ask questions. You're there to learn and staff knows that they are there to help teach you. And lastly, treat your internship like an extended job interview. Approach everything you do with the passion and work ethic that you would bring to the job every day. The reason I say that, is that you never know what doors will open with that internship and where that could lead you in the future in your career." - Brad Wilson

Brad Wilson, toward the beginning of his career at Naperville Park District

Current Opportunities for Paid Internships and Employment at Naperville Park District

Learn about current openings at the Naperville Park District here. For 2023, an internship is available in recreation programming. Other areas that sometimes offer internships are nature education, marketing and park maintenance.

Recreation programming interns learn to run a variety of programs and events for all ages.

Interns also learn about park maintenance and nature education.