Student Employment Feature – Lifeguards

University Recreation employs more than 700 students per year, in many different positions and departments. We reached out to one of our Lifeguards, Carrigan, and asked her to give her insight on being involved as a Lifeguard Manager and Swim Instructor for University Recreation.

University Recreation: What does your position entail?

Carrigan: My primary duty is to ensure a safe environment for all users and participants. As a manager I supervise pool operations, programs, and maintenance. Which includes the design and facilitation of training and evaluation of lifeguards. 

UR: Why did you choose to work at University Recreation?

C: I chose to work at University Recreation because I believe in helping others lead a healthier lifestyle and I enjoy the work atmosphere.

UR: What does being a lifeguard mean to you?

C: Lifeguarding is high-risk employment and at any moment you must be ready to respond to potentially life-threatening situations. The training I have received as a lifeguard equipped me with the skills and confidence needed to respond to emergency situations in the workplace and the responsibility to respond to situations outsides of University Recreation.

There is a large influence on student learning when working in collegiate recreation. A study conducted by Stacy Hall shows that there are three major themes that come from working in collegiate recreation: interest in working with people, leadership skills, and gaining communication skills. All of these themes would be beneficial in any career that a student chooses after graduating.


UR: What is the most valuable skill or lesson you have learned working for University Recreation in your current position?

CI have learned the importance of confidence and a positive attitude in all I do. My employment with University Recreation has taught me how to develop my strengths and natural abilities to become a better employee and more effective team member. 

UR: What has this position helped you learn about the professional world?

C: Working at University Recreation has dramatically influenced my professional development. As I gained responsibilities within the Aquatics Program, I learned how to professionally communicate with my coworkers, customers, and other users.

UR: What would be your recommendation for students considering a lifeguard position or other positions with University Recreation?

C: I highly recommend employment with University Recreation, the tools and opportunities available to you for professional development are numerous, plus, the professional staff and student staff are supportive and fun!

USA Today found that having a job on-campus is beneficial because on-campus positions are more flexible with your school schedule, you will have a larger social circle, it will add to your resume by giving you more work experience as well as transferrable skills, and give the small step to the beginning of independence before going off into the real world. Receiving a paycheck teaches you how to manage money, which is useful going into the working world, as well as learning accountability to show up for your scheduled shifts. Working in an on-campus job has had nothing but positive influences on my life as an undergraduate, and the same goes for Carrigan. I believe that everyone should look into working at University Recreation, the friendships I have gained through working here will last a lifetime, and I have learned many valuable skills that have prepared me to work with all types of people in the working world.

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