By Patti S. Borda, Frederick News-Post

Photo from FNP ArticleMount St. Mary's professor Corinne Farneti's sports management students may find the real job world a less scary place after their Halloween experience.

That was her plan: Give them a view of sports management-related careers. This time, it came with a paranormal twist.

They volunteered with Halloween in Baker Park, three nights of tours and entertainment.

Farneti said since she started at the Mount in January she wanted the sports management majors to get a better idea of possible careers before they graduate. This semester, she gave her students a choice: Write a paper or volunteer in the parks and recreation field.

Some career paths for sports management lead to parks and recreation positions. Nineteen of her 22 students chose to volunteer for Halloween in Baker Park rather than write about a sports organization: "to identify the hierarchical structure, discuss the finances (revenue and expenses), marketing strategies," she said in an email.

Halloween in Baker Park involves marketing, entertainment, tours, ticket sales and performers.

Farneti joined the parks department's Halloween planning committee in the spring, where she became acquainted with Nancy Adkins, program coordinator.

Farneti jumped in with both fangs (as a vampire) to help in all aspects of the major event. She was ready to scare visitors who took the tour, but had primary duty as stage manager, making sure the more than 200 volunteers found their costumes and places, Adkins said.

"Oh, my goodness ... she is amazing, and her students are wonderful," Adkins said.

Farneti and students helped in planning and execution.

"It is an all-encompassing event," Adkins said.

Not that ghosts and skeleton horses would be a regular part of park positions, but helping put together a successful Halloween in Baker Park was a valuable experience to her students.

"I think they got a glimpse of the extensive planning and organization needed for an event of this size," Farneti said. "It also allowed them to connect class work with the real world."

They demonstrated punctuality and dependability and respect, and Farneti always had a smile on her face, the kind of person to have "when you need somebody to step up to the plate," Adkins said.

"She's just a pleasure ... and her students came through," Adkins said. "I hope we have her around for a very long time."

"For me, the most rewarding thing was seeing my students involved in the community ... and actually enjoy it," Farneti said.

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