Spotlight on most senior member of Intramural Sports student staff

October 25, 2018

Standing outside in the cold of November, Patrick Marino sloshes through the snow with his fellow Penn State employees as they officiate athletic games. It's easy to secretly envy others staying inside their heated apartments, but there is more to this than temporary cold. Campus Recreation, a unit of Student Affairs, pushes its students to get out and get active. One may ask why a person would choose to be outside during the cold winter months, but Marino’s favorite memories are these days in less than desirable weather.

Marino is a Scranton-born, fifth-year student in the Master of Accounting Program (MAcc), and an Ernst & Young Campus Ambassador who still dedicates his nights to Campus Recreation intramural sports and club programs, supervising all athletic activities. Splitting his time between many different areas of his life, some may say Marino is a master at the balancing act that is college.

As a supervisor for Campus Recreation’s competitive sports, Marino works with professional and student staff to ensure each game is being run in accordance with the program’s policies and regulations. Although he has taken on a senior position with more responsibility and obligations, his love for the game has never wavered.

Starting off as a naïve, wide-eyed freshman in the year of 2014, Marino decided to work as an intramural (IM) basketball official during his first summer session at Penn State. Growing up, he always liked sports and knew that if he decided to get a job during college, working on campus would be ideal for his busy life. He never thought that this one opportunity would mold him into the person he is today.

Through his opportunities in Campus Recreation, Marino has helped develop into a strong communicator as well as a professional who can balance his time efficiently. “The toughest part about my job is definitely the time management,” Marino noted. “But it is good to have these skills because, in the real world, my bosses won’t care what I have going on, they will just want it done.” Marino believes that through this work he is “building his toolbox for the future.”

Wanting to pursue a career in accounting, Marino remains on that path as he plans to work for Ernst & Young after graduation. Although competitive sports are not part of his post-graduation career choice, Marino recognizes the contribution his job has made toward his growth as a young professional at Penn State.

Marino places his fellow students into two boxes when referring to what he wants them to get out of Campus Recreation. “We want competitive sports participants to feel satisfied enough with their programs, where they want to keep coming back,” Patrick explains. “We then want our student staff to work with us and not for us.”

Marino and his team hope to involve students, at Penn State in competitive sports early on in their college careers. The department has started an initiative with the Residence Life, also a unit of Penn State Student Affairs, in order to implement more programs and group activities, so the first-year students can be a part of something right away. Programs like Friday Night Challenge have been a huge hit – helping students to get involved, stay active, and find their Penn State niche.

Simply said: Marino and his fellow staff just want students to get involved in these programs and to “stick with them.”

He feels that his current community can help students learn valuable skills like communication, time management, and team building – all attributes that go a long way in life.  Most weeks Marino would work anywhere from 15 to 20 hours to help facilitate flag football, softball, soccer, and ultimate frisbee. "Working out time management skills is a huge part of how this job has impacted me most," said Marino. “My favorite memories are actually the nights when we’re out on the fields and it’s snowing. Although some would prefer to be inside doing homework, my schedule is so set that I'm able to finish my work early enough to enjoy those nights with fellow employees doing what I love."

Marino communicated his appreciation of Campus Recreation and how they give him the opportunity to be involved without letting his grades suffer. 

If you are inspired by Patrick’s story and would like to get more involved, Campus Recreation’s program offers various ways to find your place at Penn State. Students can officiate competitive sports, belay ropes at the rock climbing wall, manage the exercise facilities, and do so much more. Whatever your passion may be, Campus Recreation’s flexible schedules and diverse facilities is the perfect fit for you. Visit Campus Recreation online to explore their student employment opportunities.

Last Updated October 25, 2018