Guest Column - July 2009
Find a printable version here

Customer Service:
Developing Customer Service in Collegiate Recreation Facilities

By Renee Adam, Abigail Thrine & Peter Titlebaum

Student employee jobs consist of tasks and duties that can be included on their resume and that are related to all fields. Student recreation employees ensure the safety of members, conduct face-to-face interactions with members, provide customer support for members with problems or concerns, and possess knowledge about the recreational industry. These tasks and duties offer real-world experience that is priceless for college students looking to enter the workforce, regardless of their major. Sport and recreation-related majors are not the only ones who can benefit from working at a recreational center. Communications, marketing, public relations, and business administration are also majors that are related to the work and experience gained from working at a college recreation center.

Collegiate recreational facilities open doors to infinite possibilities for the student employees who work in them. By accepting an organization's philosophy and values, employees can understand that customer service is one of the products being sold and that the success of the company comes from the success of the employees themselves.

Student employees gain real-world experience that they will be able to carry with them for the rest of their professional careers. The experiences that they acquire will help them stand apart from other applicants and will put them miles ahead of other professionals in their industry, no matter their major or field of work. Every employee needs to be trained to understand that customer service is the lifeblood of the organization and vital to its success.


Renee Adam is an undergraduate student at the University of Dayton, studying Sport Management and Accounting. She has one year of experience in campus recreation. Abigail Thrine is the assistant director for facility operations for the Department of Campus Recreation at the University of Dayton. This is her seventh year in the field. Dr. Peter Titlebaum, associate professor of Sport Management at the University of Dayton, has more than 25 years of experience teaching and coaching. He speaks and writes on areas of networking, organization and personal development.