Supporting Springfield Through Recreational Activities

Samantha Billstone ’18 Builds Community Through Recreation

Samantha, an intern at National Trails Parks and Recreation District, contributes to the Springfield community by planning activities and events that support her academic pursuits as a sport management major.

“Will you describe your internship experience?”

Samantha Billstone“This semester, I have an internship with National Trails Parks and Recreation District (NTPRD) as a Special Events Coordinator. At NTPRD, I’m working on event planning for the Springfield community. This includes a program on Earth Day, called Amazing Place: Earth Day Race. I’m also working to help plan the Monarch Butterfly Festival, as well as Wuffstock, a festival for dogs and their owners.”

“That sounds interesting! Why did you apply for this internship job even though you’re a sport management major?”

“My internship with NTPRD has allowed me to apply the knowledge I've gained about recreation and event planning to my major. I wanted to push myself to use my passion for sport/recreation and event planning with real life situations.”

“What was your best moment during the internship?”

“I think my best moment was being able to use my Wittenberg network to get groups and organizations on campus to take part in these community events! As a member of Sigma Kappa, I was able to connect my sisterhood to an event I was planning for NTPRD. The event I was working on celebrates Earth Day and one of Sigma Kappa’s philanthropies is Inherit the Earth. Since our values and philanthropies align with the objective of the event, I thought it would be a great experience for Sigma Kappa to be involved. I was also in contact with the Sustainability Task Force at Wittenberg. They were interested in being involved with the event, but unfortunately didn’t have enough members to help. It was still a great experience to communicate with them and their advisor!”

“How did you get the opportunity of working with NTPRD?”

“I got this internship through the Hagen Center, and since I have volunteered with NTPRD before, I knew everyone working there.”

“What resources were the most useful when looking for an internship?”

“These last few years I've worked for Brandee Bates, a director of Scheduling and Events. She recommended that I should apply for this position and always encouraged me to do so, being very supportive. I was able to use my knowledge I gained from working with her to plan events for the community, too. Career Services was also helpful anytime I needed them to take a look at my resume. It’s always helpful to go there - they can help tweak the wording and presentation of my resume!”

“Overall, do you think your experience gave you something?”

“Yes, definitely! I learned to appreciate the amazing network that Wittenberg has given to me! It made me realize that I have learned more outside of the classroom these last 4 years than I thought.”

“Would you like to say something to our peer students who are thinking about taking actions for their future?”

“Yeah, I would say…JUST GO FOR IT! Taking initiative to apply for internships or jobs is the most crucial step. After that, Wittenberg’s faculty and stuff have prepared you for the rest!”

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