Our swimmers aren’t the only ones going back to school this fall! In addition to teaching children how to swim, some of our friendly instructors will also be heading to class to pursue degrees that will help them advance their careers and follow their dreams.
To celebrate this exciting chapter in their life, we asked swim instructors, lifeguards and WOW! Customer Service Team Members across the country: What are you going to school for, and how do you feel the experience you’re gaining at Goldfish is preparing you for future job opportunities in your desired career field. Here are some of the responses we received!
MEET MR. ZACH, A GOLDEN TEACHER AT GOLDFISH SWIM SCHOOL - DUBLIN
"Knowing that all my work is going into making families happier, healthier and safer is just one of the many reasons why I love what I do.”
Having recently graduated high school, Zach is entering his freshman year of college at Ashland University and plans to pursue an early childhood education and intervention specialist major. He has a passion for working with students who have different needs or ways of learning and wants to make sure that every child feels supported along their learning journey—a trait that makes him an incredible Golden Teacher at Goldfish Swim School - Dublin.
“I’ve always loved working with kids and want to make a positive impact on children’s lives,” he expressed. “I want to be that teacher they remember.”
Zach first heard about Goldfish Swim School from a friend. After looking into the opportunity further, he thought it would be a great way to gain real-world education experience he could apply later in his career. Since coming aboard, Zach says he’s learned a lot of valuable skills that will come handy in the classroom—like how to keep kids engaged when they become distracted, tailor his teaching style to the way students learn best and communicate with parents about their progress after class.
“I love when parents tell me how much of a positive impact I’ve had on their kid,” he mentioned. “I had one mom tell me that I truly changed their family’s life by helping her child learn to swim and it brought me so much joy. Knowing that all my work is going into making families happier, healthier and safer is just one of the many reasons why I love what I do.”
Zach also expressed how much he enjoys having a supportive team of people behind him.
“It really feels like a family,” he shared. “I feel comfortable going to my managers for anything I need and trust them to listen to and support me. I also love the fact that my team is just as invested in helping me learn and grow. The people are great, and I have made numerous friends.”
As part of his role, Zach also has the opportunity to teach new instructors how to use The Science of SwimPlay® to make lessons a fun and engaging experience for students—something he feels makes him a more well-rounded instructor and better teammate.
“The independence and confidence you gain from leading classes really helps you to grow and evolve as a person. It really is a unique experience I am very thankful for.”
MEET MS. ADDIE, A DECK SUPERVISOR AT GOLDFISH SWIM SCHOOL - ANDERSON
“I have learned so many things that will help me in the teaching field, including the importance of adjusting to each student's learning style."
Ms. Addie also has a passion for working with kids and is actively pursuing a degree in early childhood education from Northern Kentucky University. As a junior nearing graduation, she’s excited about the opportunity to help foster a love of school and learning for students. But she wasn’t always so sure which career field to go into—that is, until she started working at Goldfish Swim School - Anderson.
“Before working at Goldfish Anderson, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go into teaching,” she shared. “When I first applied for the job, I was solely interested in lifeguarding. But once I saw how amazing and rewarding the work was, I fell in love with it and quickly realized teaching was for me.”
In the two years Addie has been with the Anderson team, she’s grown in her career and has held various roles from lifeguard and front desk representative to Golden Teacher and, most recently, deck supervisor—each of which she feels has equipped her with valuable experiences she’ll carry with her in her career.
“I have learned so many things that will help me in the teaching field,” she said. “The main thing I have learned is not all children learn the same. You have to be patient when figuring out what teaching style works best for each student.”
In addition to helping children develop confidence in their swimming abilities, Addie says one of the things she enjoys most about working at Goldfish is making connections with members and hearing feedback from proud parents about the strides their children are making in (and out) of the pool.
“If you are looking for a job and enjoy working with kids, I promise you Goldfish is one of the most fulfilling jobs you will ever have,” she mentioned. “I leave my shift with such a big smile on my face because I know that I am making an impact on students’ lives and helping them learn to love the water. Some kids come in absolutely terrified to even put their feet in the water but leave the class asking their parents to stay longer. Goldfish is truly the most amazing job!”
MEET MS. ALLY, A DECK SUPERVISOR AT GOLDFISH SWIM SCHOOL - MARLBOROUGH
“Since joining the crew at Goldfish Marlborough three years ago, I’ve learned my passion and goal in life is to teach. I love the idea of helping children and guiding them as they learn and grow, which is why I’ve chosen to pursue a degree in early childhood education.”
As a graduating senior entering her freshman year of college, Ally says the experience she’s gaining at Goldfish is preparing her for future job opportunities in her desired career field.
“Since joining the crew at Goldfish Marlborough three years ago, I’ve learned my passion and goal in life is to teach,” she shared. “I love the idea of helping children and guiding them as they learn and grow, which is why I’ve chosen to pursue a degree in early childhood education.”
In her role as a deck supervisor, Ally is responsible for creating a safe, fun and welcoming learning environment for swimmers and their families. In addition to overseeing lesson quality and ensuring instructors provide a golden swim lesson experience, she helps apprehensive students develop the courage to jump into new experiences and communicates with parents about their progress in class—all transferable skills she feels will help her in a traditional classroom setting.
“Goldfish has prepared me for my future career in unimaginable ways,” she said. “Through Goldfish I’ve learned different methods for teaching children and communicating with parents, and how to create a fun and positive learning environment where children learn valuable life skills.”
At the end of the day, it’s all about being a positive influence for children and helping them grow into confident swimmers. That’s what Ally says she enjoys most about coming to work each day.
“The feeling I get from helping children become safer around the water is incredible and truly rewarding,” she expressed. “Goldfish’s life-saving mission makes me feel like I have a purpose, and it brings me an incredible amount of joy and pride.”
MEET ZACHARY, GENERAL MANAGER AT GOLDFISH SWIM SCHOOL - GAITHERSBURG
“Every business, even swim schools, needs people with your skills. There really is a spot for anyone who has a passion for using their talents to positively impact their community and wants to gain real-world experience they can use to build their resume.”
While Zachary has been out of college and making waves in the workforce for several years, the career path he chose wasn’t always part of his original plan.
As an undergrad, Zachary double majored in integrated advertising and advocacy communications and dreamed of working for a non-profit organization. He worked his way through college, teaching lessons at a local swim school - which sparked a passion for working with young children that would later lead him to explore job opportunities outside of his degree, and ultimately to Goldfish.
After graduating from James Madison University, Zachary used his degree to secure an internship in Washington, D.C., but continued teaching swim lessons on the side to earn some extra money. He loved working with kids, especially babies and swimmers with special needs, and started to think about making a career change into early childhood education. Just as he was planning to make his move from advertising and aquatics to academics, he received a phone call that would change the trajectory of his entire career and open an entirely new pool of possibilities he never imagined.
It was a recruiter in the Baltimore area looking for a General Manager (GM) to help support the grand opening of a Goldfish Swim School in Owings Mills, MD.
“I had just come to terms with the fact that aquatics wasn’t something I could pursue full-time and had already started my career transition toward becoming a teacher,” he recalled. “But I decided to interview for the opportunity on a whim and ended up going all in. I loved everything about the company - their mission, their facility, and the amount of resources they had to invest in lesson programming. The rest is history!”
In his role as a GM, Zachary pulled from his communications background to promote the school’s opening and drive enrollment while also hiring and developing a team of talented individuals who would bring the Golden Experience of Goldfish Swim School to life for members of the Owings Mills community.
“As I was working as a GM at Owings Mills, I realized that training and developing people was what I was most passionate about,” he said. “I loved swimming and teaching, but it was at that point in my career I realized that you don’t necessarily have to be a schoolteacher to be an educator. There are many different avenues where you can apply your passion for teaching to help other people learn something new. For me, that meant helping instructors who don’t have a swimming background become amazing swim teachers and showing our mini teachers how to connect with parents on a deeper level when they don't have children themselves.”
Because of how rewarding Zachary found the role of building up people and teams, he decided to go back to school to pursue a master’s degree in management strategy and leadership from Michigan State University, where he learned skills that would help him operate the business from an HR, leadership and strategic planning perspective.
“I had always wanted to own a business or play a role in helping small businesses grow, and being a General Manager allowed me to manage multiple aspects required to operate a successful business - from marketing and finances to hiring and training,” he said. “Goldfish was that blend of teaching, business and HR that I was always looking for.”
Since then, Zachary has had a hand in opening three of the five Goldfish Swim Schools located in Maryland, including Goldfish Swim School - Rockville and, most recently, Goldfish Swim School - Gaithersburg, where he continues to hire, mentor and develop the next generation of Goldfish leaders.
His advice for the next generation of wavemakers in the workforce?
“Be open minded about career paths or organizations that might not align with what you are looking for, because a job can always grow into something else. Once you have your foot in the door, find a need and fill it!” he shared. “As long as you're passionate about the work you’re doing every day, the accolades and opportunities to advance and expand your role will come.”
Whether you’re interested in exploring a degree in early childhood education, have a passion for the performing arts or love to write, Zachary says: “Every business, even swim schools, needs people with your skills. There really is a spot for anyone who has a passion for using their talents to positively impact their community and wants to gain real-world experience they can use to build their resume.”
ARE YOU READY TO LOVE WHAT YOU DO, AND CHANGE LIVES AT THE POOL?
If you love making a difference, having fun, feeling like part of a team and helping make your community safer, all while making money AND building up your resume, you have the potential to make waves at your local Goldfish Swim School! Each school offers competitive pay, best-in-class paid training, flexible schedules, and the opportunity to make a real impact - in your community, and in your career.