Kali Knapp

Kali Knapp

WorkStrong Coordinator


University of California, Irvine

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Got certified as a personal trainer to see if I enjoyed studying the movement of the body.
Pursued my Bachelors in Kinesiology because I thought I wanted to be a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Interned at a Sports Enhancement facility and loved it more than physical therapy.
Continued onto my Master's degree thinking I wanted to be a college strength coach.
Got a job as a manager of UC Irvine's recreation center for the salary and benefits.
While I worked in recreation, I completed an internship with the UCI Strength Coach and hated it.
Recruited by UCI Police Department to work for them, but backed out prior to the academy.
I realized that helping others get fit in the Rec Center was what I was passionate about ALL along.
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Kinesiology and Exercise Science
California State University-Fullerton
graduate
Graduate
Kinesiology and Exercise Science
California State University-Fullerton
Career

Career

WorkStrong Coordinator

I run a post rehab and fitness program for injured employees at UC Irvine.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Education
Education
Science
Science
Helping People
Helping People

Day to Day

I am lucky enough to have a job where I can literally roll out of bed, go straight to work (to workout), then shower and get ready for my day. I spend 2-3 hours responding to emails about anything from special fitness programs, to guest speaker requests, to correspondence with the trainers and instructors who work for me. Some days I set up for special events, or write workout and fitness programs. It's ever changing, which is why I enjoy my job so much.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Personal Training Certification, varied internship experience, i.e. physical therapy office aide, sports enhancement, general fitness, elderly populations, and after school fitness programs.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Be an intern! 9 times out of 10, I hire someone who worked really hard as an intern. Get yourself out there. You may think that you have no time in your schedule to volunteer or intern for a university recreation center, private gym, fitness center, or sports enhancement facility, but even just a few hours a week will get you ahead. Potential employers want to see that you've been proactive about your future career by making sacrifices and doing the things others aren't willing to do.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

undergrad
Bachelor
Kinesiology and Exercise Science
graduate
Graduate
Public Health, General
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Parents:

"You should make sure you're going into an area of study where you will get paid enough to earn a decent wage."

Finding a job these days in the fitness industry that pays more than 40K per year is very difficult for someone with only a Bachelor's degree. I went back to school for my Master's degree, in part, because I could not find a job that would allow the level of living my parents expected of me. It was difficult to face that reality and know that even with a Master's degree, I still might not find a job where I made a "decent wage," which my dad would say to be at least 60K or more.

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
Financial

I had to backtrack a bit a re-learn how to budget better because no one had ever really taught me. I wish I'd had help dealing with financial aide.