Intern name: Philipp Roye
Major(s): Nutrition and Exercise Science
Title: Athletic Trainer
Place of internship: St. Cloud Orthopedics in Sartell
How did you find out about the internship and what was the application process like?
To be honest, I got very lucky the way I found this internship. I was walking to the weight room when I met Don Fischer, head of the ESSS department, at St. Benedict. He mentioned that the St Cloud Orthopedic Center had one more opening for summer interns. Since I was looking for internships/jobs over the summer in the first place, I went onto the orthopedic website and emailed the coordinator of the HEAT program. Within a day, I received a response and details on how to apply. I then turned in my resume folder and got invited to look at the facility and ultimately, to be interviewed. The interview itself consisted of simple questions about myself and past work experiences.
What were some of the internship highlights?
I met a lot of wonderful people while working at the Orthopedic Center. Everyone at this facility respected us (interns) and the work that we did. We got along very well with the physical therapist staff and everyone else. All interns became close friends and we are still in contact and see each other on a regular basis. Overall, everybody was able to work in a very relaxed environment and even though there were days where all interns were extremely busy, we were still able to crack jokes and be funny.
What was a typical day like? What were some of your major responsibilities?
A typical day lasted from 10am-6pm. We would come in and look at the schedule to determine how many clients would show up. We then started to work with our clients. Overall, there were three different types of workouts: Running, lifting, and plyometrics. Usually, all the interns would switch up in between: Intern A would run the treadmills for 2 hours whereas intern B would do the lifting part instead. After a few hours, we would rotate. There was no fixed lunch time; however, we were allowed to take a break based on how busy it was at the orthopedic center.
The biggest responsibility was to make sure that all clients (12-26 years old) were doing the exercises in a professional manner. Especially younger clients had to be taught how to do certain, complex exercises (such as the Hang Clean or Power Pull). On some days, we were so busy that not enough interns were available to work with all clients; therefore, we had to improvise and work with multiple people at the same time.
What were some of the challenges of your internship?
Clients who were not motivated to work with us was a main challenge. We found other ways to make the workouts more exciting and enjoyable even though it was not always easy.
What did you learn?
It is always easy to learn or memorize information for class or a test. However, applying the same principles to new scenarios in a work environment seemed quite challenging, especially at the beginning. For me personally, it was difficult to find the right vocabulary to explain complex exercises in such a way that even 13 year old children were able to comprehend and execute the workout correctly. Being able to adapt to new environments is crucial if one wants to succeed. People's moods are always different and as a personal trainer, you have to be careful and know your boundaries. There are certain dos and don'ts and one needs to be aware of that as well.
What advice would you give other students interested in internships?
Always be in a good mood, no matter what. It will be difficult to do that from time to time; however, it will help to create positive relationships between you and your clients. They will appreciate your mood even though it may take a while. Some people can be extremely rude, sometimes without being aware of that. Try to respond in a professional and appropriate manner.