Making a great impression while on a work-placement helped Matt Wells start a career in the area he loves.
A keen cricket and rugby player, Matt saw studying Exercise and Sport Science as a way to improve his own performance and give him the skills to help other athletes.
“I went to the UCOL Open Day and enjoyed the vibe and the welcoming, family-orientated feeling. It felt like a community and the place where I wanted to study. It had good facilities, smaller classes, and really helpful lecturers,” he says.
As a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science* student, Matt enjoyed how he spent a lot of time putting theory into practice.
Matt’s third year placement at The Rec Room in Feilding was a real highlight for him. There he planned and led exercise classes and assisted personal trainers working with clients.
Matt says the placement was a great opportunity to learn more about building relationships with clients as well as to gain business insight from The Rec Room Director Brandon Rennie.
“It was good to be able to pick Brandon’s brain about the business side of things, how he operates, and how to create a point of difference from other gyms and trainers.”
Working with real clients at a range of skills levels allowed Matt to hone his ability to teach people to exercise effectively.
“When you’re in class, you’re working with your classmates who know the exercises. It was a good challenge on placement because you’re working with people who aren’t familiar with the exercises and how to use the equipment. You really have to strip it back when you’re teaching someone a new exercise. Being able to teach people and see those results is a really good feeling.”
Matt made such a great impression at The Rec Room that he was offered a job not long after finishing his studies. Now working as a personal trainer, Matt runs a range of exercise classes and helps gym members work towards their fitness, strength, and conditioning goals.
“The best part of my job is seeing people achieve their goals day in and day out, and just knowing I’m helping people to better their lives. Even those small wins, like moving up a weight on a strength exercise or being able to hold a position longer, are meaningful because they all lead to the bigger picture.”
Always looking to learn new things, Matt has gained Australian and New Zealand Strength and Conditioning accreditations through his UCOL qualification and work experience.
“Our industry always changes, whether it’s new exercises, new ways of training, or new diets, so the ability to constantly upskill is massive.”
In the long run, Matt wants to work in a strength and conditioning role with a high profile team or athletes.
*The Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science has since been superseded by the Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise and Wellness) , which gives students the flexibility to specialise in Physical Health and Wellness, Strength and Conditioning, or Sport and Recreation Management.