9/15/2013: Ashley Marquis

Hi everyone! This week was another exciting week for me!  I had the privilege to attend the North Dakota Recreation and Parks Association’s annual state conference. Now, you may be wondering why I would be attending this but it actually has to do with one of my majors, recreation and tourism!  Last spring, I applied for a scholarship through the NDRPA and luckily ,I got it, which led me to be able to attend this conference.

This year, the conference was held in Valley City, ND.  For those of you that do not know, Valley City is a town with about a population of 6,500 and actually has its own university there. It’s a really cute town with a lot of bridges! There is actually this one railroad bridge that goes across the valley so it is really high up. It was built over a hundred years ago. One guy told me that when he was growing up, crossing the railroad bridge on foot was a sort of a right of passage.

Anyways, I had a really good time at the conference getting to learn a lot more about park and recreation districts in North Dakota and lots of good tips to remember when I join the profession in a couple of years. I really enjoyed the breakout sessions about learning about how to use social media in a business setting and also the most effective ways to do marketing.  The keynote speaker, Mark Fenton, was also very interesting. He talked a lot about how to make cities more healthy by designing them in ways that encourage people to walk or bike to wherever they need to go instead of drive.  He also talked about ways to get kids more active,which I agree is very important.

Overall, it was a really exciting time for me. I am so happy I got to go and learn more about my future profession and get a chance to meets professionals who are already in the field.

I encourage anyone of any major to try to attend conferences like this that pertain to your major because it is a great way to learn more about it and network, which is super important for when you graduate!