Why did you choose Ohio State?
I began my collegiate career at another university in a different major. When I realized working with athletes in a training environment was where my heart was at, I began to weigh my options. At Ohio State, the Exercise Science Education program has an undergraduate degree with more strength and conditioning aspects. When I found out, I was like, ‘that’s exactly what I want to do. It’s right down my alley.’ I love to work out. I love being active. Exercise Science was a final degree, and specific degree, for what I want to do with athletes and what I've done my whole life.
What are your career aspirations?
Strength conditioning coach in the NHL. Obviously, strength and conditioning coach in general is the career of choice, but in the NHL is the dream job where I want to focus. I’ve also thought about owning my own business, whether it be consulting or for performance.
You are majoring in Exercise Science Education to help get to your career goals. What’s unique about the program?
The hands-on opportunities. Once you get more in-depth into your curriculum, you're more in a lab, learning how what you're learning those first couple years transfers to the lab and being hands on. So, being able to exercise and actually learn while you're exercising – not even necessarily technique and stuff, but learning how your body responds to exercise, adaptations to exercise, the reactions to it and the science behind it.
How have your professors here impressed you?
The one-on-one interactions they have with you. It's not like you're just a number or just a person in the class. They work with you outside of class – you reach out to them, they want to help you. They want to make sure that you're individualized. So everyone in the class does the same stuff, but they want to tailor that to your career path. So whether it be projects you have to do on your own, how can we tailor that to what you want to do in life? But on top of that, they are there to help you not just work the grades, but make sure you understand the material. Sometimes, you get big classes, even with this stuff – you get classes that are 40 kids, and they'll still work with you one on one and they know who you are. They want you around the labs as much as possible. You're more individualized rather than just being a number.
Why should students choose Ohio State’s Exercise Science Education program?
Number one, because it's at an elite university. But on top of that, a lot of it has to do with the program expanding. That's something that stands out. Exercise science is becoming so big and vast, it’s an important part of culture within a community – fitness helps your health; people who are rehabbing from serious illnesses to actually slow down those illnesses; stuff in the medical aspect side of things too. It's all becoming such an important factor. I think that's why this has such an opportunity to expand, and we have the research and everything necessary. On top of that Ohio State has faculty at the top of their fields. Professor Kraemer, he's one of the top strength and conditioning specialists in the world. Then you have Dr. Volek, who's one of the world-renowned nutritionists, and he's here as a professor as well. That’s what makes it so attractive - not only are they going to give you the best education, they're also going to help you with career paths.
How would you describe other students in the program?
I'd say they're a lot similar to me. A lot of them are hardworking and eager to learn. They're interested in the material that they're learning. They look more in depth to the information, and that's why it makes it so fun because it's stuff you want to learn. They actually love being a part of this program, and I think that's a lot of why it works, because everyone's actually interested in that information and learning.
What advice do you have for students going into exercise science?
Reach out to your advisors. Get an understanding of what to expect and see how the curriculum is run so you have a better understanding how to organize yourself and be exposed to the material, so you know what to expect when. Also, get involved in stuff that's going to help you inside of the program, and outside the program. And obviously, getting your name out there. Talk with as many people as you can, whether it be professors here, because a lot of them are big-name people, and they know a lot of people outside of this building, and that will help you career-wise, but also they're going to help you a lot education-wise … it's just networking and talking to as people many as you can. That's what I've done and it's helped out.
Columbus itself has so much to offer. What do you like most about it?
I would say two things: the atmosphere – the camaraderie of people and the community itself. The other aspect: there's so much to do here in terms of activities – places to go, places to eat, and there's so much culture in a way that it's made a name for itself. And so whether it has to do with sports teams, like the Blue Jackets, Crew and obviously Ohio State football. Or, the food! There are so many different festivals to go to – so many different places to eat. There are so many different shopping centers. Every aspect works together. It's like a big community even though Columbus is huge – a top 15 city in the country.
What have been highlights for you as a student in this college?
The advisors. They are so outgoing and so helpful with not only organizing curriculum for you, but telling you, 'this is how things should be done. This is what your career should look like after you're done. Here’s what we're going to make sure you're able to do.' I had this internship with the Blue Jackets for the last year, and my advisor helped me petition classes so I could get those credits here but have an open schedule to be there for the Jackets.
Number two is just working in the labs, being able to perform max exercise tests, get that data based on my own performance and being able to understand why I got that data, how I got that data. And learn about that test while being able to perform it was included in my class.
How has Ohio State made you a better person?
A lot of it is just being able to work with other people – being able to work with other people in different careers, communicate from crossing career paths and work together to solve a problem in a real-world situation. So a lot of people in here – they're all exercise science, but they all have different career paths – there’s a million different branches they could go. You’re able to work together and solve problems within the classroom and outside even though everyone's got different mindsets for different things.