Employers Appreciate Commitment, Growth, and Loyalty
By Garrett Schwartz
When I left Manitou and began searching for jobs in the “real world,” I was initially very overwhelmed. Many of my peers applying for the same entry-level jobs as I already had one or two professional internships under their belt. Instead, choosing to spend my college summers at Manitou, “College League Coach,” “Soccer Instructor,” and “Cabin Counselor” headlined the top-half of my resume.
In my opinion (and that of my current employer), my experience at camp equipped me with an invaluable skill set that an intern sitting behind a desk simply couldn’t replicate. Sure, organizing soccer drills, writing songs for Pres Night and wrangling a bunk of restless campers to bed with the help of “Bed Time Elimination” aren’t necessarily bullet points I’d highlight on a resume. However, the responsibilities given to me as a young adult at camp more than prepared me for the professional world, which I was able to emphasize in interviews and on my resume. I developed strong leadership and communication skills managing dozens of campers and staff from vastly different backgrounds; I learned how to adapt in crisis management situations attending to homesick campers in the cabin or tense situations on the fields; and I gained confidence in public speaking situations addressing more than 100 teammates at College League meeting places.
Finally, the “Manitou Magic” that kept me at camp for so long is what actually helped me the most in the long run- or, more specifically, the number of summers I spent at camp. Working at one place for a long period of time demonstrates commitment and loyalty, especially important in a period where employers fear millennials fleeing jobs on a whim.
The Soft Skills Matter
By Alex Radford
So after four years of working at camp, “real life” finally got in the way for me and soon I will be signing my life away as I join the British Army. Obviously, it was the natural progression and next step! However, going through the application process, I found that my years at Manitou were invaluable and came up time and time again in my application process, CV, interviews and more. Here is some advice on how your camp experience can be best used during application processes for future jobs.
If you’re lucky enough to do several summers and become a director/head of sport/dean etc. then great! This shows progression and an opportunity to demonstrate leadership qualities that potential employers love. However, they are also always looking to see what responsibilities previous jobs have given you and how you handled it. Even from the start, as a cabin counselor, you are given just that. From Day 1 you’re responsible for 10-15 campers: their welfare, happiness, development, experience at camp, the list is endless and doesn’t stop at just your bunk, but your division, instructional, college league team and so on.
Interacting with campers, counselors, and people of all backgrounds, nationalities, ages, and walks of life help develop interpersonal, teamwork and communication skills. Potential employers are not just looking for good grades and those with the right internships, they are after the whole package. That includes somebody who is able to throw themselves into a new situation, with people they’ve maybe never worked with and gel as a team and work together on whatever the project is. Having been to camp, you have those soft skills that they are looking for, and they are invaluable.
Overall, without maybe realizing it, working at Manitou gives you the opportunity to develop and demonstrate many of the characteristics that employers in any sector of society are after, and above are only just some.
- Check out a terrific ACA resource to assist in sharing your story about working at Manitou.
- This website provides specific samples on ways to include your camp experience on your resume.
- “Say it like a pro, because you are one…” read on for advice from Dr. Chris Thurber.
- Are you on LinkedIn? Join our Alumni, Parent, and Staff group to stay connected to Manitou’s professional network.
The 2019 staff hiring season begins next month! Do you know someone who will be a terrific addition to our team? Forward them this post and tell them to apply.