My educational journey began at Marietta College in Ohio, where I was pursuing a degree in Political Science. Having an interest in law, politics, and research, I initially wanted to launch a career as an Intelligence Officer. But during my first year of school, I found myself feeling out of place among my peers. I did not feel the same enthusiasm as they did and I eventually concluded that this was not the right path for me.
I decided to explore other career fields, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Sports always had a huge positive impact on my life growing up, ultimately shaping the person that I am today. I spent a summer interning at a Physical Therapy clinic that I used to attend frequently for personal training. It was during that summer that I felt like I found my true calling, and I made the decision to enroll at Montgomery College’s (MC) two-year Exercise Science program, with the goal to transfer afterwards to a four-year program.
While attending MC, I learned all about the transfer opportunities and about the college’s partnership with the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). This was also when I found out about Salisbury University's B.S. Exercise Science Program at USG. Initially I had an interest in transferring to the University of Maryland, College Park, but I ultimately decided on the Salisbury program at USG because of the convenience, affordability, and smaller class sizes where I felt that I’d benefit from a more personalized college experience. I also love how attending USG gave me the flexibility to help my family with taking care of my grandmother.
In the spring of 2023, I interned with Adventist Healthcare in the cardiac rehabilitation department where I really learned how to be responsible and accountable as a healthcare professional. Even though I was only an intern, I had patients who looked to me for guidance on how to manage their health in regards to exercise, managing stress, depression, and risk factors associated with their cardiac or pulmonary-related conditions. The cardiac rehabilitation department at Adventist Healthcare was very high volume, seeing 80-90 patients per day, and there were even days where I had no supervision tending to patients.
If it weren’t for the knowledge and skills I learned in Salisbury University’s Exercise Science program at USG, I honestly don’t think I would have been able to manage. Every single day of that internship I was able to apply something I had learned in the classroom — analyzing heart rhythms, identifying risk factors of cardiovascular diseases, modifying risk factors, demonstrating exercises, modifying exercises and coming up with alternatives, accurately taking manual blood pressures, understanding and using proper medical terminology, identifying and understanding the use of a variety of prescription medications, and so much more.
During this time I also studied and took the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise Physiologist certification exam, and just a week before I wrapped up my internship at Adventist Healthcare, I officially became certified as an Exercise Physiologist.
With the support of my family, friends, peers, and professors throughout my educational journey, I am now a proud Salisbury University graduate as of May 2023. Unfortunately though, shortly after graduation, my plans took a bit of a turn. My grandmother had a traumatic accident and my family needed help with her care, so I ended up putting a pause on my job search to be by her side. Thankfully, she is now on the road to recovery, having returned home from rehab, and coincidentally, I received a call from Luminis Health, an organization I had applied to before graduation. They requested a virtual interview and I was offered a position as their sole therapist, right on the spot!
I am looking forward to beginning this next chapter in my life with Luminis Health and applying what I learned in school and my internships so that I can make a positive impact on the lives of my patients. Along the way I have plans to get my license as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist. I need 1,200 clinical hours to be eligible to take the exam, and I hope to be ready to take it by the end of 2024. I also plan to get a Masters degree, potentially in healthcare data analytics, but my main focus right now is to build my work experience in the healthcare industry.