5 Camp Walt Whitman Counselors Share Their Success Stories
One of the greatest gifts of a college education is time. Over the course of four years, you can pursue classes that excite you, drop subjects that don’t interest you, and ultimately find the perfect major that suits you.
Four years also gives you a wide latitude when it comes to summer jobs. In talking to former summer camp counselors at Camp Walt Whitman, we learned that internships were not the only stepping stone to their career of choice. For each of them, a job as a summer camp counselor gave them valuable work experience that set them up for success at a range of companies, from Instagram to ESPN.
Here is how working at Camp Walt Whitman gave these former summer camp counselors skills that helped them succeed in their chosen careers.
Marissa Dolmatch, Product Marketing Manager, Instagram
Marissa Dolmatch credits her work at Camp Walt Whitman with learning how to become a strong manager. Though she spent some summers in college working as an intern, “I didn’t have other roles in college so focused on the development of others,” said Dolmatch.
Helping campers through homesickness and maintaining her enthusiasm throughout action-packed days taught her how to be a good leader — a skill that she brought to her role at Instagram. “I definitely learned a lot about my own leadership brand,” she said.
Juliet Litman, Head of Production, The Ringer (owned by Spotify)
Counselors from around the world come to work at Camp Walt Whitman each summer, lending an international feel to our 300-acre campus in New Hampshire for 10 weeks out of the year. For The Ringer’s Juliet Litman, working amidst such a diverse crew gave her a greater understanding of the possible paths she could take in her life and career.
“You are introduced to different people who have totally different lives and…it just broadens your idea of what the world is and what you could be doing with your time.”
Liz Geralds, Senior Manager of Community Development, Denver Broncos
For many of our former staff, the opportunity to spend a summer working as a camp counselor is all the encouragement they need to turn their love of working with kids into a career. Liz Jeralds, who works for the Denver Broncos as their senior manager of community development, discovered this same passion at Camp Walt Whitman, but she continued her commitment to children’s growth outside of the traditional school setting.
“I quickly realized that the ability to make genuine connections with kids and help them grow and help them navigate the world and learn as they go while they were in a safe space was really fulfilling and something that I wanted to make sure was still part of my life for years to come,” she said.
Michael Brett, Lead Sales Strategist, Indeed
Being a good manager means knowing how to delegate so your team can work effectively. Michaeal Brett, the lead sales strategist at Indeed, says he learned these skills while working at Camp Walt Whitman, first as a counselor and ultimately as CWW’s Athletic Director.
“When I’m working on a project at Indeed…it’s my job to make sure that every single person here knows what they’re supposed to be doing when they’re supposed to be doing it and how they’re supposed to be doing it. … You do that at camp every single day.”
Michael Shiffman, Senior Vice President of Production, ESPN
Leading a team also requires empathy, which Michael Shiffman gained while working as a counselor at Camp Walt Whitman. As Senior Vice President of Production at ESPN, he and his staff have to frequently travel to games around the country, and today he offers the same kind of moral support to his staff as he learned to do when he was a counselor.
Camp is excellent preparation for a profession that requires you to “really be there for people when they are away from home,” he says.