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Alumni Success

Logan Jones Takes a Swing to Expand His Experience

Logan Jones

Written by Debbie Willmschen.

Logan Jones recently graduated from NC State University with a Master of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management (MPRTSM) through NC State Online.

Currently a Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Chicago White Sox, Jones spends a lot of his time traveling. His home base is in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for spring training and off-season work he travels to Phoenix, Arizona and his work in the major league stadium and facilities is in Chicago, Illinois.

Logan Jones.

“Given the nature of my job, an online format was an important consideration,” Jones said. “After a bit of research, I determined a generalist approach was best. I was seeking an opportunity to gain exposure in areas such as management and leadership (particularly in sport). I settled on NC State for a variety of reasons, including the reputation of the university as a whole and the program specifically. The curriculum, faculty expertise and accomplishment, financial aspects (in-state tuition), and the potential to build relationships and provide additional career opportunities all appealed to me.”

Experiences with the Program

Working full time while also earning a master’s degree can be daunting, in any situation. Jones was well aware when entering the MPRTSM degree program that this opportunity would present new challenges.

“Managing this program required demands on my time and energy,” Jones explained. “Balancing work and school responsibilities required strong time management skills and the ability to prioritize tasks effectively. Due to the nature of my job, challenges such as meeting deadlines, participating in class meetings and discussions, and allocation of resources were often commonplace. The commitment from the department, program administrators, and professors to problem-solve when conflicts arose really made a huge difference for me when faced with these dilemmas. Completing a master’s program while working full time demonstrates dedication, resilience, and a commitment to professional development.”

Jones and his wife, Courtney pose for a traditional Christmas photo at his parent’s home in Zebulon, North Carolina, with the family donkey, Satchel.

Jones also appreciated the general flexibility of the online format, which allowed him to customize the program to fit his personal and professional needs.

“Embarking on this online journey was a transformative experience, offering the flexibility to tailor my learning around a full-time job,” Jones said. “The virtual platform not only facilitated seamless access to diverse course materials but also fostered meaningful interactions through online discussions and collaborative projects, creating a supportive community of fellow learners despite the physical distance. This format allowed me to delve into the curriculum on my own terms (for the most part) and also encouraged the development of crucial digital communication and time management skills essential in the professional landscape in which I work.”

Looking Forward

Jones is enthusiastic regarding the ways in which this master’s degree will open opportunities for him in the future.

“This MPRTSM degree will prove invaluable as I move into leadership responsibility by providing specialized knowledge in management, honing essential communication skills, and fostering a network of industry connections,” Jones said. “The credibility gained through this degree enhances my qualifications, while problem-solving abilities and a global perspective acquired in the program have positioned me for success in navigating the complexities of managing people in the dynamic industry in which I work. This foundation is a key asset for advancing my career into positions of higher responsibility within sport organizations.”

When all is said and done, Jones looks back favorably on his time in the NC State Online program and is grateful for the choices that he made. Understanding that working professionals who seek to continue their education need to balance demands on their personal, work, and study lives, he recommends an online program as a flexible choice. 

“Effective time management as well as clear and transparent communication with employers and professors is essential for sustained success,” Jones said. “Online programs offer a practical and flexible choice, with the convenience of remote learning that fits into a busy schedule. The ability to access coursework from anywhere facilitates greater flexibility, enabling professionals to pursue advanced degrees without compromising quality of work or career choice. Additionally, online programs often foster a diverse and global network, enriching the learning experience with varied perspectives.”

Jones also advises that anyone considering an online program do the proper research. 

“Ultimately, the choice between online and traditional programs should depend on individual preferences and learning styles,” Jones said. “It is critical to research and choose a program that aligns with your personal goals, provides the necessary support, and offers a curriculum that meets your professional aspirations. Balancing work and education is challenging but can be highly rewarding, contributing significantly to career advancement and personal growth.”

Jones and his family show their Wolfpack pride at an NC State football game against Wake Forest in 2022.

The MPRTSM Degree Program

The online MPRTSM degree program provides students with the credentials, knowledge and practical insight required to advance careers in parks, recreation, tourism and sports industries. Recognizing that most students need to continue working while earning this degree, the program is intentionally designed to meet the very specific needs of professionals looking to advance their careers in these highly competitive industries.

“In my opinion, the overall learning experience at NC State is shaped by a combination of academic excellence,” Jones said. “This program offered a supportive community of administrators, professors, and classmates and an overall commitment to preparing students for sustainable success.”

This post was originally published in Online and Distance Education News.

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