Recreation Supervisor

Shaunna Donahue

Tell us about your work---what do you do? I work in the field of recreation in a unique department within a small beach community. My responsibilities include managing a Civic Theater, booking rentals and reservations , coordinating with technical staff and civic groups to maintain a high standard of performances both and quality of service. I also coordinate adult softball and basketball leagues that run all year long and are available to any member of the community. I coordinate and implement special events with nonprofit organizations as well as volunteer committees. What skills are needed? Strong organizational and leadership skills are absolutely necessary. You must be detail oriented but still able to see the big picture: how it affects the community. You must also be creative and flexible , you never know when the power might go out and the show still must go on. A good sense of humor is essential and you must be able to laugh at yourself. What was your major? Recreation , California State University at Long Beach How did you get started in your career? I took a regional Occupational Program in high school in recreation. I fell in love with the field and I knew then what I was going to be if I decided to grow up! I then volunteered in a municipal recreation department and eventually got hired on part time. The rest is history. What experience do you need in this job? Experience in community recreation with some experience planning special events , customer service , and supervision of children and adults . Describe your "typical" workday: I work from Tuesday through Friday 9:30 am-6:30pm. Other individuals in our office work a 4/10 work week which is Monday through Thursday 7 am-6 pm. We are also required to work some evenings and weekends during events. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? This field is very rewarding, challenging, frustrating, and downright insane. You will always do something different; there is no end to the challenges. If you think you are comfortable, just wait till next week or tomorrow, it will change. The people in this profession have a great desire to help others and seek perfection in their work. I would suggest that you hone your skills at being flexible and try to gain as many different experiences as you can while you are young and still willing to learn. Also, get involved in professional organizations, whatever your field, they are the lifeline of your job. If you want to help others they will be willing to accept you and you will create a network of coworkers and friends to assist you along the way.