Career Connections

Melissa Gjerde

Major: Kinesiology and Health

Minor/option/emphasis: KIN-Exercise Science

Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Estherville, IA

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Regional Wellness Center
Company/Organization website:
Title: Intern
Destination: 415 S 18th St, Estherville, IA 51334
Timeframe: 1/4/16-3/24/16

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
My Responsibilities were cleaning the facility, personal training sessions, after school program, youth basketball and soccer programs, lifestyle challenge, and helping with duties at the front desk.

I accomplished...
My accomplishments would be that I became more of a leader through this experience. The personal training sessions helped me become more confident in myself. The after school program taught me how to be more patient with the younger kids and how to discipline them as well and have them obey the rules of the facility. The basketball and soccer programs for the youth taught me to explain at their level how to do certain drills for their skill level and also helped me speak up so they could understand what I was saying. I also worked with the lifestyle challenge. This helped me meet many people from the community and also helped me make connections with some people who could help me out in the future in finding a career.

My most valuable effort...
I would say the lifestyle challenge was the most valuable project I got to be a part of during my internship, because I was able to get involved by emailing all participants and getting to know many of them. Working at every weigh in and tried to help them stay motivated! I met some great people through this experience, and also received great recommendations that I can use in the future.

I learned...
The more people you get to know and learn about their experiences, the better off you are. You can learn from many. I have learned the elderly people know so much. Don't take them for granted - learn from them while you can. I was very surprised about how many people will help you learn and figure a path for you in the future.

I will never forget...
I would say the first weigh in of the lifestyle challenge was memorable because I was assigned to measure everyone's waist - and there were 274 participants. But I wouldn't change anything. Many participants remembered me as the "waist girl". I met a lot of people because of this great opportunity!

Advice for others...
Make sure you speak up and ask questions to get the most out the internship. Robert, the director, is a smart man. I learned a lot from him. He does really well in running the business. He may be strict, but this is why the business runs so smoothly. You learn a lot from him and begin to feel more comfortable with the company. As you progress, he will be willing to let you take the lead and learn as much as you would like to. He gives you the opportunity to do so!

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I found it on my own. I live in Estherville. This is where the Regional Wellness Center is and decided I would try it.

I landed this assignment by...
I had an interview with the director, Robert Grems, and he said he would love for me to come in for the internship.

I wanted this experience because...
I love my hometown and wanted to help out in the community. Also, I knew I would learn lots from the director who works there.

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