I recently received my BS in Movement Science and am currently studying for ACSM’s HFS certification exam. I feel as though I have a lot of the knowledge necessary for this field, but I have no experience in the practical application of it. I can’t afford to go to the two day seminars they provide (although I am doing the online webinars), and I’m not sure where else I could go to get experience in applying my knowledge!
How did you get your initial experience when you first started in this field? How could I approach a potential employer and sell myself without having experience where I am working directly with clients yet?
Congrats on your degree. This is a fun and very interesting field to get in. One suggestion I could give you is to look for a trainer position at a local YMCA. They are great places to start a career and expose you to a number of clients, scenarios and other opportunities. I started my career at the YMCA many years ago and it was the best decision I made. I learned many new things about training and facility management which helped me in my later years as a trainer and a fitness professional. They have some great programs and it would be a great way for you to learn. Of course you can try to get a training job at a different gym if you wish and start your career that way. Many gyms might not hire you if you are not certified or have liability insurance, so you keep that in mind. Another suggestion would be for you to find a mentor and shadow him/her so you could learn from them as well.
You can also search the IDEAFIT site for other similar questions posted by others and read their responses. You will get some great responses here as well from other professionals.
I hope this helps.