Mackenzie Barile interned with Elite U Advanced Sports and gained experience in delivering performance training programs for athletes.
How did you get your internship and why did you select this experience?
I have been a member at Elite U for several years and love the atmosphere. I have known for a while that I want to work with athletes in some way for my career. As I was thinking about, and looking for, possible internships, working for this company was on my short list. After weighing my options, I thought this would be the best fit because of what it entailed. Thankfully, I am close with the owner and other employees and was able to talk to Rube, the owner, and ask if I could intern there. He sat me down for an interview and had me go through a background check and then I was offered a spot within a day or two. He has known me for several years now which was helpful for him to quickly know if he wanted to offer me an internship spot or not.
I chose this internship for a few reasons. I was familiar with the place, I knew the employees, and I knew what the values and goals are for the company. I fell in love with Elite U after my first day of training - even though the workout was incredibly intense, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. I knew it was a place where I would get stronger and better, and that is one of the core goals for our clients. It is a place of not just discipline, but positive, encouraging and goal-reaching discipline. Every trainer wants each of their clients to walk out of there one step closer to their goals and feeling better than when they came in. We work with the highest level athletes - such as NFL and NBA players - and also the lowest level - such as middle school athletes - all with the same attitude of making them stronger and better. Overall, I chose this internship to be a part of this amazing team that has amazing mindsets and attitudes for what they do as well as the amazing opportunities to work with such a huge variety of people.
What was your favorite part of your internship?
One of my favorite parts of my internship was the ability to work with such great coworkers and clients. I was surrounded by trainers who have the same mindset of bettering each client that walks in and continuing to learn more ways to make the business better in any way and to always be thankful. I loved being able to share my knowledge and encourage the clients to help them achieve their goals while I am working towards mine. Being able to work with people who have similar goals and who all are grateful for what they do was so uplifting and has made me want to keep pursuing this career field, this was why it was so meaningful to me.
In fact, this internship experience has greatly influenced my plans for my future. I knew that doing an internship at a high performance fitness gym would give me the exposure I would need to decide if I liked that area of working with athletes. This experience has influenced me to want to continue this career path and hopefully end up there or somewhere similar after I graduate. I am going to keep staying optimistic and open to learning more and more about strength and conditioning for athletes and even learn about more aspects of athletes' necessities.
What advice do you have for other students as they search for and begin their internship?
Some advice I have for students looking for an internship is to keep your options open and don’t just look for an easy way in. Put the time into networking and finding the best fit internship for yourself. Networking is very helpful along with talking to people you already know to possibly find another opportunity.
Advice I have for students as they begin their internship is to be comfortable being out of your comfort zone. You will not know everything right away and it will be uncomfortable being in a new environment not knowing much. Make sure you are open to learning, set goals, have a good work ethic and come in with a good attitude every day. Last thing is that even if your internship is outside of your originally chosen career path, it may lead you to love it and you can take your career in a different direction.