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?
Harris- Thanks so much for your advice! Checking out my local YMCA is a great place to start, especially because they are so community oriented and it seems people in the heath and fitness profession are very willing to help those of us who are just starting out.
I also love the mentor idea!! But would anyone mind sharing an appropriate way to find a mentor? Most people I graduated with are going on to some sort of graduate school, and professors on campus don’t have the HFS certification or know much about it. Short from literally just going out to a local gym, YMCA, or something like that, I’m not sure how I should reach out to find someone who would be willing to help me!
Karin- That’s a great idea too! I’m sure I could find a few friends who would love help with their training. And you’re right, although it feels like all I have is knowledge, we did get a lot of experience obtaining initial assessments in our exercise physiology lab. Great point :]
Michael- Thank you! I love the Exercise as Medicine approach that ACSM offers…I love the idea that exercise isn’t just good for your heart, but that it can help with so much more, both physiologically and psychologically. I learned a lot about the current obesity epidemic in some of my classes and would love to work with that population to help them improve their health and overall lives. But really, as long as I get to work with people on an individual level in a setting where I can share my passion for exercise and living a healthy lifestyle with them, I will love it. I guess I’m pretty open at this point!
I actually have looked for internships, and found a few, but many of them are geared towards students still in college and offer exchange for course credit. I’m going to keep searching though, because that seems like it would be the best way to get experience and learn more about the field!
Thank you so much for all your help, everyone! I really appreciate it :]