Career Connections


Kelley Stich
Major: Kinesiology and Health
Minor/option/emphasis: KIN-Exercise Science; Nutrition
Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Wisconsin

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Physical Enhancement Services
Company/Organization website: pes-wellness.com
Title: Personal Trainer
Destination: Port Washington, Wisconsin
Timeframe: 1/16 - 5/16

Advisor/Coordinator Email: dpower@iastate.edu

I was responsible for...
Programming and implementing exercise routines for clients, looking at educational material and projects, offsite training for special needs clients, strength and conditioning for high school athletes, stretching and performing glute release on clients, office work, cleaning, answering phones, community outreach.

I accomplished...
I think the biggest accomplishment I had was gaining all the knowledge and confidence that I did. I knew I was a good personal trainer in Ames, but everything I learned at the clinic gave me the confidence to program a workout and then tell someone exactly why they're doing what they are. I think the reason we do certain exercises are extremely overlooked and I'm glad I have the ability to confidently tell someone why they're doing an exercise and how it will help them.

My most valuable effort...
Designing a strength and conditioning program for a local high school. I knew I liked working with athletes, but it wasn't until I had to program for an entire high school that I could really see myself doing something like that for a career whether at the high school or college level. I loved having to think about training components for the on and off seasons, and what each sports specifically needed.

I learned...
The first few weeks at the clinic were the most valuable learning experience because I was literally learning the whole time. We talked about body mechanics, physiology, nutrition, and tons of other things that I now apply to every client and every workout that makes each experience tailored to the individual. I know whatever I go on to do in life I'll be better at because of everything I learned.

I will never forget...
My most memorable experiences were working with our special needs clients. I never thought I would ever work with people with mental and physical disabilities, but they were some of my favorite people and best parts of the week.

A surprising discovery...
Mechanics don't lie! The way someone moves can tell you a lot- previous injuries, muscle weaknesses, skeletal issues, and so much of it can be solved by retraining the body to move a certain way, or release certain muscles. Someone might have a particular goal in mind, but now I see that you have to address and train the minor details to reach the ultimate end goal, and not just focus on the one goal.

Advice for others...
Don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't understand something, its the best thing you can do. Ask questions until you feel confident that you could present that information to a client or whoever. Ask questions when you have down time- whatever your curious about, open a dialogue between you and your mentor or supervisor. You'd be amazed at how much you can learn from a simple conversation.

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I am originally from the area and had family connections

I landed this assignment by...
Professional communication skills! The first email I sent inquiring about the position, I drafted and proof read a thousand times and my boss was impressed by how professional I sounded.

I wanted this experience because...
I'm interested in further studying biomechanics and the clinics philosophy is centered around training for the body's mechanics and physiology. I knew I would learn more working under a biomechanist and exercise physiologist than I would working for someone at a gym somewhere.

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