Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Alumni Highlight - Doug Arrowsmith
Courtesy: David Driscoll
MACOMB, Ill. -- Doug Arrowsmith, coordinator of facility operations for recreation services at Iowa State University, obtained his master’s degree from Western Illinois University in 1995.
Arrowsmith came to Western after earning his bachelor’s degree communication from the University of Iowa and working two years at the Boys’ State Training School in Eldora, Iowa. Making the decision to return to school was one of the biggest risks he took in his professional career.
“I decided to make the leap to go back to school full time while I had no real ties to anyplace or to anyone. It was tough to give up a steady paycheck, but the reward was certainly worth the risk in order to do what I truly loved doing,” Arrowsmith said.
At Western, Arrowsmith volunteered in the sports information office and at various athletics event while he completed his courses. WIU’s curriculum set him up for success in the real world.
“WIU prepared me for what was ahead in the world of athletics,” Arrowsmith said.
“I truly did learn that with hard work and dedication, you can achieve most anything you set your mind to. I took school seriously at that point and I remember being amazed at how easy it seemed when I applied myself to my studies and I really enjoyed the classes that were offered,” Arrowsmith said.
After graduating from Western, Arrowsmith landed his first job as assistant director of sports and operations at the Iowa Games Annual Sports Festival. After holding that position for seven years, he moved to collegiate athletics where he worked as the camp and clinic coordinator for Iowa State University for two years.
Following his time in collegiate athletics, he moved into his current job as coordinator of facility operations for recreational services at Iowa State University. Arrowsmith enjoys working with college students every day and relishes the chance to work with people from all walks of life.
Despite his love for his job, it requires a lot of work to schedule four indoor recreational facilities and over one hundred acres of outdoor recreational field space.
“We share a number of spaces with the athletics department so it can be challenging at times putting the pieces of a very large puzzle together,” Arrowsmith said.
“I played football collegiately and loved playing all sports. I knew I wanted to make a career out of it. I knew I didn’t want to go to work each day dreading the next eight hours. In the sports industry I am lucky enough to look forward to work and as someone once said, if you love your job, it doesn’t seem like work,” Arrowsmith said.
Arrowsmith believes that a great work ethic and good work are the best ways to get noticed in the sports industry.
“You have to realize you won’t start out making $50,000 a year so be prepared for that, but also realize that if you can get the work experience, and get your foot in the door, there are a lot of avenues to move up the ladder quickly if you are willing to put in the hours and learn the ropes,” Arrowsmith said.