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Kansas Wesleyan University

A summer job at Legoland turned this KWU student’s expectations upside down. Lindsay Maryon, sophomore in Criminal Justice, spent two months responding to distress calls, checking bags and helping lost kids find their parents, way more concerns than she expected to address as a security guard at an amusement park.

A California native, Maryon landed the job thanks to a family friend who works at Legoland. The amusement park in Carlsbad, Calif., features live shows, rides and Lego building workshops for families.

Maryon was initially excited about the opportunity but unsure how it would go. Turns out, she thrived in this unique, out-of-classroom experience.

An average day as a Legoland Security Guard intern:

  • Arrive at 8 a.m.
  • Check in cars and construction vehicles at the gatehouse. Look for proper parking passes.
  • Ride a golf cart around the parking lot. Make sure everyone is okay. Check for potential security issues, like car break-ins.
  • Walk around the amusement park. Assist people who are injured. Help lost individuals find their group.
  • Check bags for banned items, like weapons and pepper spray.
  • Write incident reports.
  • Head home at 5 p.m.

For Maryon, “home” meant a 15-minute commute to her family’s house in Carlsbad. Her father is a captain for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. They bonded while talking about what happened at work each day.

“It was cool to have that connection with him,” she said.

Putting Theory Into Practice

The Criminal Justice program at Kansas Wesleyan prepares students to put theory into practice in real-life situations. Maryon was surprised at how quickly that happened:

“I honestly didn’t think I would apply my report-writing classes as soon as I did.”

She wowed her Legoland supervisor with the skills she learned in the classroom freshman year.

“My supervisor said I write better reports than the majority of his guys, which I am very proud of. He said they are just like reports deputies would write. I am the youngest one who works in this department,” Maryon said in an email to John Burchill, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at KWU.

Building Blocks for the Future

Maryon aspires to follow in the footsteps of her dad and grandpa by working for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. To do that, she will attend a law enforcement academy after graduating from KWU. In the past ten years, nearly all Kansas Wesleyan alumni who attended law enforcement academies graduated in the top 10 percent.

In the meantime, Maryon continues gaining real-world experience that will help when she enters the job market. She is volunteering at the Saline County Sheriff’s Department this fall as part of her student-athlete commitment to service.

It’s a win-win for this Coyote softball player.

Maryon chose to volunteer her hour at the Saline County jail. Under the supervision of the Saline County Sheriff’s captain, she logged arrest information into the booking system. Later, she will ride along with officers to observe their work and gain a deeper understanding of the services they provide.

Piece by piece, her future is coming together.

Maryon plans to return home to California during winter break and continue working security at Legoland.

“That job helped me grow as a person,” she said. “Definitely a good learning block for the future.”