summer student and superintendent

My Ontario Parks career map

Today’s post comes from Morgan Racz, an experienced summer student and winner of one of our 2018 student bursaries.

This is my story of my dream career.

Currently, I am a few steps down the road. I work for Ontario Parks at Port Burwell Provincial Park, as a provincial park ranger and the head maintenance student.

Starting point: maintenance student

July 2, 2016 was my first day with Ontario Parks.

two staff members in front of truck

I will never forget when my supervisor Brenda asked me two hours in if I wanted to work for Ontario Parks forever. At the time I didn’t, and I thought parks would just be a temporary summer job for me.

It’s amazing how much the organization has inspired me to change my career choice to focus on parks. I even changed what program I wanted to do in school, switching from Nutrition to a Bachelor of Science.

Next step (in progress): post-secondary education

woman in front of agriculture sign

I knew that in order to reach my career goal, I needed an education.

Currently, I am working towards a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.

Step up: head maintenance student

staff in front of Ontario Parks truck

I received my first promotion to a level-B student park panger on May 9, 2018.  Now I work as the head maintenance student.

I greatly enjoy having more responsibility and being able to teach and lead other students at the park!

Relating my education back to career goals

Woman in front of Ontario Parks banner

When I’m sitting in a class that I find boring or working on a project I find challenging, I think of ways that I can relate my school work to my future job: a provincial park superintendent.

For example, when I am doing economics, I think, “One day I am going to need these skills to manage the park budget.”

Ontario Parks student bursary

woman standing in front of Ontario Parks backdrop

Ever since my first summer with Ontario Parks, I looked up to all the students who had exemplified high quality work and were awarded the Ontario Parks Student Bursary.

I too wanted to work as hard as these students and was overwhelmed with joy when I received the bursary, and I am very proud of my accomplishments.

Building skills

group of staff members posing with machinery

Skills required as a provincial park superintendent are:

  • team leadership
  • business skills (budgeting and spending decisions)
  • scheduling
  • hiring
  • enforcement of the criminal code and the Ontario Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act

Both oral and written communication will be assets to this career. I know I will need to continue to use text-to-speech software in order to have clear communication skills in this position.

Stepping stone: manual worker

The next step I would like to take in my career is to become the manual worker.

staff member laying on ground fixing pipe

I would like this position, as I would like to build more maintenance skills and have more responsibility. I want to have more of a leadership role in my workplace.

Stepping stone: park warden

As I gain more confidence as a provincial park ranger, I would one day like to become a park warden.

person talking to warden

I would like to be able to protect the safety of our campers, but also the ecological integrity of our park. I inspire to one day become a MECP (Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks) badged officer.

Goal: provincial park superintendent

My goal is to one day become a provincial park superintendent. This is a photo with my current superintendent, Rhonda.

staff member holding plaque next to Superintendent

I truly looked up to her as an employer, and I hope that I can work towards becoming as strong and confident as her and lead the park as well as she does.

Thanks for sharing your journey and dreams with us, Morgan, and thank you for all the wonderful work you do at Port Burwell

If Morgan’s story has inspired you to work at a provincial park this summer, applications are due March 29!