UBC Human Kinetics students are out in the community getting hands-on work experience by volunteering their skills to various organizations in the Okanagan.
A group of nearly 50 fourth-year students, who will be the first cohort to graduate from the Human Kinetics program at UBC's Okanagan campus next June, are working at gyms and sports organizations, schools, private health clinics, non-profit societies and public health organizations.
"We've had fabulous reception from people in the community," says Sally Willis-Stewart, assistant professor of Human Kinetics. "It has been a very rewarding situation for both our students and the organizations involved.
"For the organization, they get an enthusiastic, knowledgeable student who is right on top of the latest information in that field who can fill a gap, or perhaps tackle a project that has been on the backburner. And for the students, they are getting an opportunity to apply their knowledge, explore their career options, gain work experience and make connections."
By the time Human Kinetics students begin their work placements, they have completed numerous courses in basic and core areas in health and exercise science, as well as upper-level courses in health promotion and clinical exercise science.
"It’s been such a great experience having the students working with us," says Calla Buzunis, exercise program coordinator for the COACH cardiac rehab program. "They already have the necessary knowledge-base to succeed in the field and we are able to offer them the opportunity to perfect their practical skills.
"They come to us eager to learn and willing to help out however they can," says Buzunis. "It really is a win-win situation."
Human Kinetics student Shaun Crowell, currently doing a practicum placement at COACH, says his experience has been a very beneficial one.
"It's been a great way to connect what I've learned in the classroom with what is happening in the field," he says. "I definitely do feel more prepared for the transition into the workplace after graduation."
Community groups or organizations can learn more about the Human Kinetics work placement program by contacting Sally Willis-Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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