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Pack Reflections: Julia Egler ’24

Julia Egler holding her garduation cap while posing beside the NC State Wellness and Recreation Center entrance sign.

Julia Egler graduated from the NC State College of Natural Resources in May 2024 with a bachelor’s degree in parks, recreation and tourism management with a concentration in tourism and event management.

During her time at NC State, Egler served as an inaugural member of the James Buzzard Leadership Development Program and a member of the College of Natural Resources Ambassador Program.

Egler worked at the NC State Wellness and Recreation Center throughout her four years as an undergraduate. She also participated in community service trash clean-up events on and around campus. 

She was supported with funding from the NC State Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarship and the Ronald and Dale Terry Student Assistance and Enrichment Fund.

Egler was recently hired by the City of Raleigh to serve as assistant director of the Lake Lynn Park and Community Center, a 52-acre complex that offers a greenway trail and other amenities.

We recently spoke with Egler to learn more about her NC State experience and how it’s contributed to her success. Check out the Q&A below.

Why did you choose to study tourism and event management?

I started at NC State as an exploratory studies major but knew I always wanted to pursue something in hospitality. I originally thought I would apply for a business administration major, but then I attended a seminar hosted by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management and fell in love with the major. The event and tourism management concentration was very specific and interested me more since I wanted to work in hospitality. I chose to minor in business administration since learning about budgeting, marketing and human resources will be helpful in future management positions throughout my career.

What was your favorite memory from your time at NC State?

My favorite class was PRT 358: Recreation Program Planning. I planned, facilitated, budgeted and marketed a fall festival at the St. Monica Teen Center in Raleigh. We worked with the community where we held activities like painting and smashing pumpkins, corn hole, decorating cookies, dodgeball and a raffle. The teens loved the event, and it was rewarding to see all that goes into event planning. 

What are your career goals?

I would love to one day be a director of a recreation or hospitality organization. I have had lots of experience in the hospitality industry as a zone specialist intern at Twiddy & Company, where I communicated with vacation homeowners and vendors to ensure their maintenance needs were met. I also got hands-on experience inspecting the homes before guests arrived. 

As a program assistant at NC State Wellness and Recreation, I have gained experience in a management position since I oversee over 130 student-staff. I lead and prepare monthly meetings, send out daily communication and facilitate the onboarding for new staff. I have realized my passion for management in recreation since working for NC State Wellness and Recreation. I am excited to pursue a career in recreation management in the future. 

How has the College of Natural Resources prepared you for your future?

Being a part of the James Buzzard Leadership Development Program, we had several opportunities to become better leaders. Since I want to pursue a career in management, it has helped me become more aware of my emotional intelligence, strengths and weaknesses as a leader. 

Studying parks, recreation, and tourism management has allowed me to make strong connections with professors and classmates that have led to unique job opportunities. I was recommended to all of my internships at Twiddy and Company and the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention and Visitors Bureau. I want to specifically thank Jason Bocarro and Whitney Knollenberg for helping me with job advice and with my future. 

What advice would you give to students entering your major?

I would recommend getting to know your professors and peers. Your professors are extremely valuable in providing recommendations and giving you connections. When I started applying for internships or full-time jobs, I always contacted my professors to see if they knew of any opportunities.

Your peers can also be extremely helpful since parks, recreation and tourism management classes have lots of group projects. Since your classes are small, you will have many opportunities to interact with your peers throughout a variety of shared classes. Getting to know your peers will help you in your studies and networking.

Tell us about something you are passionate about outside of your academic studies.

Since working at the Wellness and Recreation Center, I have become passionate about my physical health and exercising. I enjoy weightlifting and cardio workouts. I try and get as many steps as I can so I consistently use the active-study space treadmills to walk while working on homework. I love participating in workout classes, such as cycling, with my friends.