As a college senior pursuing a career in marketing, this summer really reinforced some important lessons -- and I learned a thing or two about community involvement, as well.
Through my classes at Aurora University, I've come to understand that strong relationships are integral to being a successful marketer. The relationships you build with others propel you forward in life.
That message was clearly driven home for me this summer as a marketing assistant at the Fox Valley Park District, where I cultivated new connections in laying the groundwork for my professional future.
It was actually through networking that I came across this great opportunity to work at the place "Where Fun Begins," as the park district tagline goes. An uncle heard about the position and recommended I apply, and it turned out to be a great decision -- not to mention a lot of fun.
Working in the FVPD's marketing department put me on the front lines at all kinds of community events, where I helped publicize and promote the amazing multitude of engaging programs offered by the park district.
From Concerts in the Park and special events at both water parks -- Splash Country and Phillips Park -- it was so much fun to interact with such a wide range of people, of all ages and from many different backgrounds.
But nearly everybody I met in our communities shared a couple things in common -- they loved having fun, and they were thankful and excited that their park district provided them so many ways to enjoy life right here at home.
I was impressed with how connected our fellow residents are with the park district. I met a visitor at Phillips Park Family Aquatic Center who was like a walking activity guide -- he knew nearly all the events, dates, activities and programs before I even told him about them.
When I asked him his secret, he laughed. Turns out he was a member at the Vaughan Athletic Center and stayed well-informed of local happenings through park district e-blasts (which I had the opportunity to assist with as part of my daily duties within the marketing department).
Then there the nice woman at the August concert last week at McCullough Park. She knew all the inside gossip about the group and let me in on some of the secrets. As I learned, she's been following the group since they started playing in the 1970s.
She's one of the many "regulars" who enjoys park district activities on a frequent basis. I met a lot of people like her, and it really left me with a good feeling, knowing the park district is making a positive impact on so many peoples' lives.
At the same time, it made me stop and think. I grew up in a small town, but my experience this summer at the FVPD helped me understand that even in the state's second largest park district (233,000 residents served), there is still a sense of closeness. It's a feeling of attachment made possible through all the activities, events, classes and programs that help keep us all connected within our community -- and I'm glad to have developed a greater appreciation for that.
• Qoc'avib Revolorio will graduate from Aurora University in December with degrees in marketing, business administration and Spanish.