K-State graduation year: 2001
Degree: B.S. Kinesology Dec. 2001
Other degree received: M.Ed Adult & Community College Education May 2004 -- North Carolina State University
Current employer: USD 470 Arkansas City Public Schools
Position: Head Athletic Trainer
How many times, if any, did you change your major during college?
Three times; I started with Biochemistry, then to Nutrition-Exercise Science and then finally to Kinesiology knowing that I wanted to become an Athletic Trainer.
I grew up thinking I wanted to be a Pediatrician and I came to K-State with that career path in mind. However, I did not want to commit the time to study and sacrifice my social life my freshman year. It became very clear that becoming a doctor was not a priority for me. I changed my major to Nutrition-Exercise Science and I soon realized that nutrition classes are chemistry in disguise. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and I sort of fell into athletic training. And I loved it!
Alpha Chi Omega Sorority
I suppose you could say going to grad school was finding my first job. I had every intention of going to grad school and working as the Athletic Trainer for the track program at K-State. However the summer after I graduated I decided I wanted to see what other universities had to offer. I interviewed with several universities at that National Athletic Trainers' Association Convention. North Carolina State offered me the best opportunity.
My first full-time job was at Oklahoma State University working Cowgirl Basketball. I actually only did a phone-interview before being hired. I was recommended for the job by one of my former Athletic Trainer professors at K-State. Lucky for me it was the break I needed to get hired!
My typical day starts at 1:30pm. I get to school, catch up on paperwork and then start preparing for practice. School is dismissed at 3:15 and it’s a mad rush to get everyone ready for practice by 3:45. I cover practice until every one is finished which is by 8pm at the latest. I cover all home sporting events and travel with football and wrestling with an occasional away basketball game here or there.
I love that I get to interact with my athletes and know them on a personal level. I know my patients families. I see my patients nearly every day. I know when they’re sad, when they’re happy, and I can help make their day better.
It is a struggle at times to deal with the odd hours we work as an Athletic Trainer. Obviously working in the high school is less than when I was working at the university level, but overall it’s hard at times to balance.
It’s a great field. Athletes will always get hurt and they will always need an Athletic Trainer to fix them. I think that you will see Athletic Trainers in every high school and at most little league events in the next 10 years. The field is expanding!
I never thought I would work at the high school level. I thought I would be a lifelong college Athletic Trainer but things change and priorities change. I do not regret making the change. However, I sure do miss being on the sidelines during football games or playing for the Big 12 title.
Luckily I married a man who also works in athletics so he understands the demands of my career. He understands that most days I have no idea what time I will be home from work and that changes happen everyday that make my day difficult to predict. However as I have aged and decided I wanted to have a family that is when working at a high school over a college became much more intriguing.
I am lucky that at every step I have loved doing what I was doing while I was doing it. Each stop from K-State to North Carolina State to Oklahoma State to Arkansas City High School has taught me what it means to be an Athletic Trainer. I love what I do.
I was in the Athletic Training Room whenever I had time. I didn’t just go in when I had to get hours. I think that’s one thing that helped me the most. I saw more than other students did and was given more responsibility because I was around so much. And it turn was recommended for my first job by one of the Athletic Trainers I worked under.
I wish I would have interned in the summer with a professional team or working for National Cheerleaders Association at cheer camps. I also wish I would’ve finished my degree in Spanish. The doors that could’ve been opened if I was bilingual.
Shawna Jordan. At the time she was one of our professors as well as the head AT for the track program. She taught me how to be a female in a male-dominated profession. She was a great mentor and continues to be a great friend.
How to balance work and family-life. How to hold my ground when a coach is screaming at me. There is so much you learn as a first year GA and then again your first year on staff.
For more information, Amy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org