Making a career out of a hobby
TAMPA, Fla. -- Several days a week, you’ll find communication student Kelly Will out on the fields by Juniper-Poplar or over by Sycamore Drive signing in intramural sports players, training officials, and handling minor injuries.
Will got the job her freshman year after seeing fliers posted at the University of South Florida Recreation Center advertising sports officials to referee intramural games.
“I was so poor and I was like ‘man, I really need a job’ and saw fliers that said ‘Officials Needed’ so I went to the meeting, took the test, sat through the training and then got the email that I was hired,” Will said.
Now Will is a site supervisor and currently works between 15 and 30 hours a week out on the fields, getting paid to participate in one of her favorite hobbies- sports. She hopes to make a career out of representing a sports team.
“Even if it's not major league, I'd be so content representing any kind of sport,” Will said. “I'm always up for a challenge and for working my way up to a position. I love this position too because I'm a woman. I've had to learn to be more assertive when talking to men and coworkers.”
Will also works off-campus and said that, by far, on-campus jobs offer more flexible work schedules and are more understanding that being a student comes before being an employee.
“With my campus job, we have a huge staff so it helps if I need a shift covered,” Will said. “Our boss knows that people get sick, people are tired, so he tries to make scheduling as fair as possible. We turn in our availability weekly so we can plan ahead for tests and projects.”
One of the best parts, Will said, is not having to fight rush hour traffic to get to work after classes. The furthest she has to drive is across campus to whichever field she is working at that day.
“It’s close so I don't have to worry about driving and can come straight from class,” Will said.
Will said that having a campus job, despite balancing it with three traditional classes and two online classes, makes it easier to stay involved with other campus activities.
“I've always been really involved on campus,” Will said. “I do this, I go to class, I'm in the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success and on the executive board as publicity chair and I've gotten involved with orientation as a retreat facilitator. My life is very balanced.”
Filed under:Arts and Sciences Communication Student Success
Author: Daylina Miller