Community events and recreation professionals work to build strong, healthy, and resilient communities ranging from urban to rural spaces. These professionals are a catalyst for positive change as they provide opportunities to be inclusive to everyone, advance mental and physical health issues, focus on creating including and welcoming public places, and consider the overall health and well-being of all members of a community.
Students in this track can expect to become competent in the following topics:
- Project Management – EXDM 412: Event and Experience Management; EXDM 490R, section 13: Experience Design Perspectives on Product Management
- Risk Management – EXDM 412: Event and Experience Management
- Financial Management – ACC 200: Principles of Accounting; FIN 201: Principles of Finance
- Administration – HRM 391: Organizational Effectiveness; MSB 390: Ethics for Management
- Human Resources – EXDM 350: Experiences in Diversity and Inclusion; HRM 391: Organizational Effectiveness
- Stakeholder Management – EXDM 306: Community Festivals and Special Events; EXDM 422: Experience Needfinding; EXDM 423: Experience Insights
- Meeting or Event Design – EXDM 404: Experience Design; EXDM 412: Event and Experience Management
- Site Management – EXDM 306: Community Festivals and Special Events
- Marketing – MKTG 201: Marketing Management; EXDM 416: Experiential Marketing
- Professionalism – M COM 320: Communication in Organizational Settings
- Communication – M COM 320: Communication in Organizational Settings
Suggested Electives and Minors
Community events and recreation management roles can take place in a variety of industries. As students begin to identify industries where there would like to work, the ExDM program encourages students to consider the following complementary electives and minors:
- EXDM 302: Hospitality Management
- EXDM 303: Introduction to Sports and Entertainment Industries
- EXDM 306: Community Festivals and Special Events
- EXDM 307: Sport and Entertainment Venue Management
- EXDM 490R, section 5: Managing Meaningful Guest, Visitor, and Customer Journeys
- Theatre Arts Studies Minor
- Communications Minor
- Nonprofit Management Minor
Organizations provide excellent opportunities to network and learn more about the profession from professionals. Most provide greatly reduced student membership rates. They also host conferences that have reduced rates or volunteer opportunities for students. Students are highly encouraged to join at least one of these organizations and attend one of their conferences.
Certifications not only help in professional development, but they are also valued by potential employers. The ExDM department highly recommends working toward certifications that are aligned with a student’s career aspirations. The program actively attempts to integrate certifications or preparation to gain certifications into curriculum whenever possible.
- Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP)
- Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE)
- Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO)
- Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI)
- Qualtrics Customer Experiences Certifications*
- Event Design Certificate*
- Project Management Certifications
- Certified Meeting Professional
- Crowd Manager Training
*Integrated into the ExDM curriculum
To learn more about professional contacts as part of the ExDM mentoring program, get in touch with chief student experience officer Ariadna Mateu.
Career and Internship Placement
Progression within this field often entails moving between different organizations or shifting to management roles that have less direct involvement in the day-to-day recreational activities of the community. As people advance in an organization, they typically spend more time working with government agencies and the associated city or county.
For more information about career opportunities, check the experience design and management career placement profile or contact ExDM career director Noelani Wayas in the Business Career Center. For questions or information regarding internships, please contact ExDM internship coordinator Joel Agate.
Graduate Degree Options
Students are highly encouraged to consider graduate school as career preparation option. Students interested in graduate school should consider enrolling in EXDM 585R: Experience Design Research Seminar. Students can also reach out to Patti Freeman, who teaches the research seminar course, if they have questions about graduate school opportunities.