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Brendali Carrillo ’18 Discusses Her Path to Parks and Recreation

Brendali poses outside - College of Natural Resources News NC State University

Brendali Carrillo graduated in 2018 with a master’s degree in parks, recreation and tourism management and a concentration in recreation and park management.

Carrillo now works as a research professor in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences in Lima, Peru.

We recently spoke with Carrillo to learn more about her passion for parks and recreation and how the College of Natural Resources prepared her for her career. Check out the Q&A below.

What is a typical day in your job like?

One of the nicest things about my job is that I dedicate a lot of time to reading, and reading is definitely one of my favorite activities. I read my students’ research projects about trending topics in the hospitality, tourism and gastronomy sectors. Moreover, I read and write about my own research interests. Thus, there is not one day that I do not learn something new and that makes my life very exciting.

What inspired you to study parks, recreation and tourism management?

Before entering academia, I worked in the tourism industry for about 10 years. My favorite job was being a tour leader in South America. In this job, I travelled across the continent for five consecutive years and met hundreds of people. I fell in love with so many beautiful places and lived a life full of challenges and adventures. At some point, I started thinking about all the things I could do to improve the conditions of the tourism sector for the benefit of all actors involved. That is when I realized that I needed to pursue my master’s degree to acquire the academic knowledge and necessary skills to turn my thoughts into actions.

How did the college prepare you for your current position?

When I was in college, I worked as a teaching assistant so I had the chance to meet most professors and learn from each and every one of them. I was inspired by how empathetic and approachable they were, and I wanted to be that kind of professor in the future. Now that I work in academia in Peru, I try to inspire my own students and motivate them to commit to their own growth and I let them know that they can count on me for advice. These are the values that I inherited from my college faculty and that are now part of my identity.

What impact are you making through your position?

As a faculty member, I contribute to developing my students’ research skills but, beyond that, I am in a position in which I can explain to them how the tourism sector in Peru works, based on my own experience. It is very rewarding to contribute to preparing them for the future challenges of their professional life and I know that this will benefit the tourism sector as a whole. I am confident that my students will be the future leaders of the industry.

What advice do you have for current College of Natural Resources students?

I encourage students to not only pursue their goals with passion and optimism but to always do the best they can and to appreciate their effort as much as their actual achievements. At times, the college experience may be very difficult and overwhelming so students should try to find a good support system among their friends and appreciate their professors. One of those professors may become a great mentor for life.