In this blog interview we are bringing you back to the U.S. where we will share the wonderful story of Nicole Perez. From her starting point in Florida, too unfolding her passion for College Athletics in California.
Thank you for taking the time, Nicole!
Can you share a bit about your academic and professional experience?
As I am a Florida native, my journey into the sport industry naturally started there. Where I had the opportunity to pursue my Bachelor degree at Florida Southern College in the field of Athletic Training. During my time there, I had the chance of interning with Auburn University and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex as the athletic trainer.
I then had the opportunity to pursue my master at the USF Sport Management program. And as of today, I have 5 years of experience at Division 1 Collegiate level, I am a member of the National Athletic Training Association (NATA) and BOC Certified Athletic trainer.
You are originally from Florida and decided to move to San Francisco. What was it about California that intrigued you and what was your biggest challenge moving there?
To be honest, it was an opportunity I came upon within the Athletic Training field and through my work with the USF Athletics it made perfect sense to continue the journey with my master. This way, I could develop my skill set, learn and grow as a person and professional. And this is also one of the major challenges moving to a new place. Getting adjusted and making sure you grow on all levels.
As a University of San Francisco (USF) Sport Management alumni, how important has the master program been towards your success in the industry?
My time at USF and as part of the Sport Management program, helped me to understand all aspects of the industry and more importantly opening new doors. It made me explore several areas outside athletic training and to understand how all the pieces was connected to my responsibility as the the Athletic Trainer. After the program I clearly understood all facets of the amateur, recreational, collegiate and pro sports landscape.
You are currently the Mobility Specialist at Briotex Health LP. What are your key responsibilities and tasks?
Today I am working closely with hospital staff, teaching mobility and helping decrease injury at work. As you all know, it is a challenging time in the pandemic and we all need to do our part. This is my way to give back.
In this challenging time, the sport industry is still on hold. What do you miss the most about the sport industry?
I think all of us have felt on the lack of sports and for me being so close with the future athletes of the industry, I certainly miss watching these amazing people compete at the highest level.
What key skill sets do you need to become an Athletic Trainer for a collegiate athletics team?
There is a lot I could write here, but I am going to make it simple for everyone. Here are some of the key traits.
- In the US you need a master’s in athletic training.
- Understanding of movement of the human body.
- Critical thinking skills.
What tips do you have for students trying to get their foot in the door?
If there are two things I would like to highly recommend to everyone wanting to be part of this amazing industry, it would be;
- Network with people who’s jobs you are interested in
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Thank you for taking the time, Nicole and for sharing your story with us.
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Vi snakkes! (See you later)