Internship Leads to Full-Time Job for GWU Exercise Science Alumnus

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Haden Baker ’17 Impressed Supervisors with Knowledge, Skills

Haden Baker finished his exercise science internship the summer before his senior year at Gardner-Webb University. Working at a fitness center in Morganton, N.C., he applied the principles and skills he had learned from his professors. “The internship experience was probably the most rewarding class that I completed at GWU,” observed the 2017 graduate. “I got a chance to work with some great people and along with that, show off some of the knowledge I had learned from my class work. My site supervisor and manager said I was the most well-prepared and knowledgeable intern they had worked with in 10-plus years. That is not only a representation of me personally, but the exercise science program as a whole.”

The diverse curriculum introduces students to a variety of topics, including exercise testing and prescription, strength and conditioning, exercise programming for special populations and kinesiology.  “My journey through the exercise science program at Gardner-Webb has been filled with challenging, but fulfilling coursework that has made me a better individual,” Baker acknowledged. “I have grown intellectually as well as professionally and most of all, I am proud to have matured as a person.”

He also feels prepared to sit for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Exercise Physiologist Exam. “Although the classes have different objectives, they all have the same purpose, and that is to challenge us intellectually and spark our curiosity as well as critical-thinking skills,” Baker assessed. “I have learned so much from these classes and they have prepared me for my future profession as an exercise physiologist. Through various assignments, I have become familiar with both the ACSM and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) concepts and techniques.”

Because his internship supervisors were impressed with his work, they offered him a full-time job as an exercise physiologist. “I feel so proud and honored to be a part of the team at the fitness center, but I cannot forget how I got here,” Baker affirmed. “If it had not been for my time at GWU, I would not have had the opportunity to be here in the first place.”