Did you ever walk into a job not knowing where it might lead you? For several members of our Goldfish family, a part-time summer position on the pool deck turned into a full-time administrative or management position. Now that’s opportunity!

When staff members start at Goldfish, it’s often for one of two reasons: they’re experienced swimmers, or they have a passion for working with children. In most cases, it’s both! Whatever the motivation, we feel honored to work with dedicated team members that help us build and grow this exciting company. In this blog post, we’re going to introduce you to a few people who have turned the Golden Experience into career growth:

Will Alberts, Goldfish Grand Rapids General Manager and Co-Owner

Will Alberts, Goldfish Grand Rapids General Manager and Co-OwnerIs he a human or a fish? Sometimes, we’re not quite sure. Will started swimming at the age of four, and stayed in the water through college, swimming competitively with Eastern Michigan University. With an impressive résumé in swim instruction, he was an obvious fit for Goldfish. He joined the Goldfish Birmingham team with his best friend, a former high school Swim Coach of the Year and now Goldfish Grand Rapids Co-Owner, Matt Watson, in 2006. He shifted through a variety of positions but really hit his stride as a swim instructor.

“Seeing a child swim for the first time never grew old, and I knew that teaching other children to love the water was my passion. I wanted a job that I looked forward to each and every day, and this was it.”

Talk about dedication! Will spent six years teaching children how to swim at Goldfish Birmingham. When he came to a career crossroads, his next move was clear: joining Matt and their partners, Sarah Alberts and Kendra Watson, to open the next Goldfish Swim School franchise in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“Saying goodbye to children and parents in Birmingham wasn’t easy. I saw many of those kids grow from their swim diapers in Mini swim classes to experienced swimmers well on their way to the Rec Swim Team. At the end of the day, I knew bringing swim instruction to a new part of Michigan with my best friends was a dream come true. Who can beat that?”

Rebecca Burlingame, Goldfish Facility Opening Specialist & General Manager of Goldfish Okemos

Photo of Rebecca BurlingameWhen Rebecca started at Goldfish Birmingham as a Teacher and Front Desk Representative in 2010, it was a part-time job as she finished out her college years. Making her time at Goldfish a “swim school internship” of sorts was admittedly the furthest thing from her mind. It just seemed like a natural progression for Rebecca, a swimmer herself, and previous a swim instructor and a nanny in her spare time.

After two years at Goldfish, Rebecca traded in her teacher swimsuit for a position as a Goldfish Facility Opening Specialist: “The unique part of being a Facility Opening Specialist is that my main goal is to enable the school to run 100% on its own! This means that my days are full of training, mentoring my staff and helping them to reach their full potential as Managers, Deck Supervisors, Teachers and Front Desk Representatives.”

Not only has Rebecca been a irreplaceable component in the openings of Goldfish Ann Arbor and Goldfish Okemos, but in the interim, Rebecca acts as the General Manager of the new school. When asked about what she loves most about Goldfish, here is what she had to say:

“There is SO MUCH to love about Goldfish. What I love the most is that every person that walks through our doors, whether it is a child, a parent or an employee, leaves changed.”

Love to swim and looking for a career change? Check out our Jobs @ Goldfish page, and download an application. After all, it might be the first step towards a career at Goldfish!