Career Connections

Miranda Dusenberry

Major: Kinesiology and Health

Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Cedar Falls/Iowa

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Mercy Medical Center
Company/Organization website:
Title: Wellness Intern
Destination: Des Moines, Iowa

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
My responsibilities included planning and instructing aquatic and gym classes, organizing intramural sports games, presenting health topics to local businesses (lunch and learn style), and working the front desk of the wellness center; which included doing new membership orientations, providing equipment instruction for members, answering the phone, handling payments, and other desk duties/costumer relations. I attended health screenings with the Mercy Community Health Department where we traveled in the mornings to local businesses around the Des Moines area. I helped with coordinating fundraiser events for the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association. I also got to help prepare and plan activities for the CATCH Kids after school program with the Childhood Obesity and Prevention Outreach department.

I accomplished...
An accomplishment I had was successfully teaching yoga to my Silver Sneakers class. I never thought I could teach yoga in the first place and I had to do it in a manner where my participants could actually do the poses.

I learned...
My greatest lesson learned was how to instruct a group fitness class. I have had many years of experience working out myself, but it is completely different actually instructing it to a group of people. As a Community and Public Health option, I am so happy now that I have that experience from my internship because it will benefit whatever field I decided to go into in the future.

I will never forget...
My most memorable experience was instructing the Silver Sneakers class. This was a class mainly for older people and I originally thought I wasn't going to enjoy the class at all. However, it turned out being my favorite class to instruct. I was always trying out new exercises for them to do and it was just so much fun seeing an older population eager to do cardio and strength exercises along with occasional yoga. It was always a fun time in general because I got to know the members that participated very well. Another memorable experience was just everyone I was surrounded by. All the other Mercy employees were so much fun and the wellness center members were enjoyable as well. This made a huge impact on my internship experience -- just knowing I was always going to have a fun day.

Advice for others...
I learned that everything I thought I would enjoy, I didn't as much, and everything I thought I wouldn't enjoy, I loved. This just shows how much an internship or a "real world" experience will show you what you may like or dislike. So always give something a try and be eager to learn new things. Even if you're not learning something new, be motivated to keep improving or increasing your knowledge.

I landed this assignment by...
I called Mercy Wellness Center and asked about their Wellness Internship they offer. On the phone at that time we set up an interview time. After the interview I was notified a week later about receiving the position.

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