Motivation, passion and networking kick-started Carrie’s career
Carrie at Advance Wellness Centre in Hamilton
Carrie Aspin has always had a passion for sport, one that started while she was a national level gymnast.
She then went on to study a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science at Wintec, worked as a Personal Trainer off and on for ten years, and more recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science majoring in Clinical Exercise Physiology (CEP) at Wintec.
Studying the postgraduate diploma at Wintec, developing her personal brand, and tapping into networks paid off for the sport enthusiast who is now working as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist at the Advance Wellness Centre (Advance) in Hamilton.
“I felt it was vital to connect with industry to understand where I could go next. I wanted to get people’s take on what they thought an exercise physiologist is, as not everyone has heard of it. I spent the year establishing relationships and learning how to communicate with other specialists,” explains Carrie.
As a CEP, Carrie assists her clients in achieving their fitness goals and prescribes exercise for those recovering from illness or injury.
“A day in the life of my role varies depending on the client I am working with. I could be supporting someone with a disability such as cerebral palsy, through to supporting an elite athlete with simple mobility.
“I also work with people to improve their general health following medical conditions that are deemed ‘high risk’, and run a number of the popular Advance fitness classes.
“I get to work across a wide variety of areas and disciplines, which means I never get bored. It’s great,” says Carrie.
Carrie first graduated from Wintec in 2011 with a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science, before getting married, having a child and becoming a fulltime mum.
Once her son reached the age of four, Carrie realised the undergraduate degree was quite broad and she had no aspirations to work in a gym. Wanting to hone in on a specialist area, she returned to Wintec seven years later to complete her postgraduate diploma.
While completing her postgraduate diploma Carrie did a lot of networking over and above course expectations.
After graduating Carrie had lots of word of mouth referrals from people who saw her at Wintec’s Biokinetic Centre, and soon outgrew her garage, which she had converted into a rehab room.
“Studying at Wintec was a great first step to build my initial client base, but after outgrowing my garage I decided it was time to spread my wings and take that next step,” says Carrie.
After contacting Carey Giddens, general manager of the Advanced Wellness Centre and discussing topics that he also happened to love, such as multidisciplinary rehabilitation, teamwork and continual learning, Carrie was offered a subcontractor role at the clinic.
“There was no current opportunities for clinical exercise physiologists, so I went out and created one.
“I wouldn’t have landed this job if I didn’t have the skills I learned from my post graduate study at Wintec,” explains Carrie.
When asked what Carrie loved most about studying at Wintec, her response: “Getting lots of A’s”.
“But on top of that I loved getting back into the rigor of study. I loved the research, along with producing great write ups and seminars. I really found my flow, which was reflected in my distinction.
“It was great for my son, Jason, to see his mum achieve that too – he watched me work really hard, so it was a very proud moment having him in the audience at my graduation.”
Always looking for her next opportunity, Carrie explains she is on the path to be registered with Clinical Exercise Physiology New Zealand. She just has a few more hours until she meets the 500 hours of documented clinical experience required.
When asked if she has any words of advice for future students, Carrie explains that no course is going to guarantee you a job at the end of your study.
“So make sure you make the most of every opportunity your education provider offers you. As well as creating your own opportunities too. If you just enrol in a tertiary qualification, it’s not enough. You have to work hard, network often, and take up every experience you can.”
Find out more about Wintec’s Postgraduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science.