Depending on your internship location, there are various expectations, goals, and objectives that can widely vary. There are five types of workplaces you may intern the responsibilities and skills you gain will be tailored toward that line of work.

Worksite/Corporate Health Fitness/Health Promotion

In this field you will gain skills tailored towards healthy living within a corporation or other type of business. In today’s world, many companies offer their employees a form of fitness in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and balance in their life. These programs range widely between companies, but in the end the goal is the same for all of them, mentally and physically healthy employees. While interning in this field you may be responsible for managing your clients

  • Behavior changes
  • Stress management
  • Nutrition
  • Aerobic exercise

You may be responsible for the following actions and programs,

  • Health care cost control
  • Models a healthy lifestyle
  • Sensitive to diversity
  • Motivation of participants
  • Fitness assessment
  • Assessment and interpretation of health data
  • Marketing your programs
  • Lead behavior change groups
  • Design incentive programs
  • Design exercise programs

Strength & Conditioning Program

A strength and conditioning program focuses solely on increasing athletic performance and physical health. These programs are typically taken by athletes or hardcore enthusiasts. Possible skills and tasks you may work on while interning are,

  • Improving sport performance
  • Design programs for different athletes
  • Program implementation
  • Program assessment and evaluation
  • Proper form and technique for each exercise
  • Spotting free-weight exercises
  • Nutritional factors in sport performance
  • Statistical evaluation of test data
  • Develop a policy and procedure manual
  • Designing the strength and conditioning facility
  • Scheduling the strength and conditioning facility

Health Club/Commercial Fitness Center

Working for a commercial fitness center means that the student will be working with a wide variety of clients. These companies are open to anybody looking to improve their physical health and the clients skills and goals will vary. It is up to the worker to assess what is best and realistic for each client and help them achieve the goals they set. Possible skills and tasks you may work on while interning are,

  • Demonstrating knowledge of clients
  • Develop client goals
  • Design an effective training program
  • Adapt to the changing needs of the client
  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior
  • Client screening and risk stratification
  • Client health-related physical fitness assessments
  • Legal issues and responsibilities

Hospital Site Cardiac Rehabilitation/Wellness Center

Working in a clinical setting means that your clients will have a clear goal in mind are a typically referred to your company by a doctor. Your clients typically have specific restrictions and goals because of their current health. being able to adapt to your clients current condition and monitoring their process are key skills to success. Possible skills and tasks you may work on while interning are,

  • Health benefits of physical activity
  • Fitness benefits of physical activity
  • Theories and models of physical activity promotion
  • Legal considerations
  • Assessment of client’s fitness level
  • Pharmocotherapy
  • Design an effective exercise program
  • Effective management of the client with cardiovascular diseases
  • Effective management of the client with diabetes
  • Effective management of the client with obesity
  • Effective management of the client with arthritis


The field of research in exercise science requires a very specific set of skills for the student. Research focuses more on data interpretation and analysis than directly working with and helping clients. This field focuses more on advancing our current methods of exercise science in the long run rather than the immediate reward of helping others achieve their goals through a program. Possible skills and tasks you may work on while interning are,

  • Development of experimental design
  • Data collection
  • Interaction with subjects
  • Statistical evaluation of data
  • Interpretation of data
  • Manuscript writing