Sammy Nelson: Nationwide Wellness Center

What has she been doing?
Sammy Nelson, a senior Exercise Science major, spent spring semester interning at Nationwide’s Wellness Center in Des Moines, Iowa.  As part of her internship, Sammy observed and instructed group fitness classes, particated in Zumba and a running group, created bulleting boards advertising wellness and health, and helped keep the facility clean.

How did she find out about the internship?
Sammy found out about her internship after meeting with a Career Services staff member.  Here at Career Servcies, we have access to lists of where students have done internships in the past and can help connect you to employers who have had positive experiences with our students.  Students interested in a similar experience might consider applying for internships with HealthFitness.  HealthFitness contracts their corporate fitness programs to employers like Nationwide.

What did her supervisor have to say about her work?
Jill Gulick, Program Manager for HealthFitness, commented, “Sammy is very personable with members. She has shadowed personal training and group fitness and has trained and taught on her own now. She wrote an exercise program for one of our members and walked him through the lesson. She jumps right in and tries anything. She is inspirational to members with her track background. She is creative and has developed a bulletin board theme for the weekdays with inspirational sayings. She is very positive and does what is asked in a timely manner.”

Why does Sammy think interning is important?
Sammy shared, “Internships open the door to other possibilities.  You are able to do the hands-on experience under the guidance of a professional.  These professionals can provide the feedback that is hard to receive in a classroom setting.  Also, you do not realize how much you do not know until you are out in the real world.  All the books in the world could try to teach you how to do something, but it is the people you work with that provide the best knowledge.  I have taken what I have learned from my classes, but I have also gained so much more insight from the great people that I have been working with!  There is no way I would be truly prepared for the real working world if it was not for my internship.  Plus, I have made such great connections with the people I work with and have been given the opportunity to continue to work with them.”

What advice does Sammy have for future interns?
Sammy encouraged, “My advice to students beginning their internship would be: don’t be intimidated.  Definitely listen, but do not be shy to voice your thoughts and opinions.  You never know when your insight can trigger a fantastic idea.  Being vocal, during the right time, can lead to even bigger possibilities beyond your internship.”

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