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Parks and Rec Proves More than Fun and Games

Published: July 03, 2014
Haylee Yeatman’s internship has given her an insider’s look at running a recreation program.
Haylee Yeatman’s internship has given her an insider’s look at running a recreation program.

Haylee Yeatman ’15 was sitting in an introduction to business class as a UT freshman when it clicked — she wanted to be an entrepreneur.

Her love of a challenge and desire to be in the driver’s seat of her career appealed to Yeatman. Now entering her senior year, and having just this week completed an introduction to entrepreneurship class, Yeatman is looking for a way to blend her love of sports with her desire to own a business.

“My ultimate goal is to open my own privately–owned recreation facility,” said Yeatman, who grew up in Hollywood, MD, and remembers 10 years of hour-long drives to the nearest facility to play volleyball.

So when Yeatman, who serves as the athletic marketing president at UT, mentioned her career goals to her supervisor, Associate Athletic Director Gil Swalls, he put her in touch with Tampa Parks and Recreation for a summer internship.

“They’ve tailored the internship specifically to my needs,” said Yeatman, and entrepreneurship major and sport management minor.

From running swim meets to registering children for summer camp to keeping spreadsheets of accounting expenses, Yeatman said she is getting a real behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run a recreation facility. She has used what she’s learned in the classroom — like recreational management, accounting and stadium and arena management — and applied those principles throughout the summer.

She chose UT because it was in Florida and because of the Sykes College of Business. With two years behind her (she is graduating early), Yeatman said it was one of the best decisions she has made.

“I love this. I knew first semester of my freshman year that I wanted to be an entrepreneur,” she said, excited to marry her two interests of business and sports. “This internship and my classes have really ignited my passion.”


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