During my internship my main priorities were training clients, teaching group fitness classes, mentoring new trainers, and promoting the program through various events. I made individualized exercise programs for my clients and general workouts for group classes with modifications to change the difficulty of said workouts. I also mentored our new trainers in how to use our operational software, how to adequately intake and design programs for their clients by shadowing sessions and examining session notes and giving them feedback of my observations, and finally, getting them involved in continuing educational experiences. Lastly, I spent a lot of time putting together pop-up events to advertise our services and developing a fitness assessment service that may also be an opportunity to promote personal training specifically.
My greatest accomplishment this semester has been putting on the pop-up events. I think that these events have been successful in marketing our services in a more meaningful way than we have previously. I also think that these pop-up events are going to continue to be a great source of advertisement in the future which is exciting. I would also say that another great accomplishment was getting student more engaged with the program as we had many of our new trainers offer to take on additional responsibilities after being mentored into their personal training position.
The greatest lessons I learned from my experience were mostly related to my leadership style. I have been complimented several times on my leadership style, but I didn't realize how important my leadership style is in this program and this position until I went to the NIRSA conference. During the NIRSA conference I learned about the different types of leadership and how great leaders don't create followers but instead create other leaders. I have since realized that I lead through encouragement and appreciation for growth. I used to have trouble letting go of my responsibilities because it is often easier to continue doing your tasks than teaching someone how to do it. Now I am able to delegate tasks and use my time encouraging others to take on more responsibilities and growing in the program without feeling anxious that the task isn't being done correctly or efficiently. I feel that my leadership style is part of the reason our new trainers are so eager to take on more responsibilities within our program.
What advice would you give?
If you are a KIN major, start getting involved in some kind of position where you can use the information you are gaining in class your first year and continue until you graduate. The sooner you start working in recreation services as a trainer/instructor, IM ref, outdoor/adventure program, or even facilities attendant, the more career related experience you have to put on your resume. Coming out of college you will have a leg up on anyone else who hasn't gotten certified in anything or doesn't have any professional experience. This experience can come from outside your institution too but regardless of where you work, just work!