Getting 'kinnected'

Kinesiology alums discuss career opportunities

- January 30, 2012

Kinesiology alumus Jeff Zahavich holds court with current students at the Kinnections event. (Nick Pearce photo)
Kinesiology alumus Jeff Zahavich holds court with current students at the Kinnections event. (Nick Pearce photo)

Kinesiology: the study of human movement.
"Kinnections": understanding where your kinesiology degree might go to.

From business to private practice, from coaching to research, alumni of Dalhousie's kinesiology program brought various professional perspectives to campus earlier this month at the Department of Kinesiology’s “Kinnections” event.

Kinnections was organized and hosted by kinesiology professor John Kozey, who introduced the five guests as Dalhousie alumni who have all taken their degree in different directions for success, helping illuminate the many options available to students when it comes time to graduate.

“The message is much stronger when it comes from people who are out there working in the field,” says Dr. Kozey.

Non-traditional routes

First up was Heather Butler, who recently took over as managing director of Research for Dalhousie’s Department of Anesthesia. She called it a “non-traditional” route to follow after her kinesiology degree.

Non-traditional routes turned out to be a theme among the speakers. Victoria Jollimore has a career in management at Manulife Financial. She encouraged the students to take opportunities, especially the risky ones. “Don’t always focus on moving up,” she said. “Move sideways too.”

Jeff Zahavich is a kinesiologist with Capital Health. He also started his own business, after having trouble finding the kinds of jobs he wanted. “I can’t sit at a desk for longer than four minutes,” admitted Mr. Zahavich, earning a laugh from the student audience members.

When Justin Mullaney started studying at Dalhousie he planned to become a fitness trainer. By the time he graduated in 2009 he had a position as plant ergonomist at Michelin, and now works there as a business strategist.

Mr. Mullaney was happy to share some of his savvy strategies for the job hunter. “It’s all based on how you can market yourself,” he explained, “Get involved and build up your resume.”

Exploring something new

The final speaker was the charismatic Darren Steeves, who works as a strength and conditioning coach with Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic. “I don’t think people see sport or fitness as a legitimate field to go in to, but it’s very viable,” he said.

Mr. Steeves was not shy about sharing some of the travel perks of his job (yup, he’s been on P. Diddy’s yacht), or the hard work and dedication that got him where he is today. He was also willing to share some cold hard salary figures, including his own.

When the event was over, students took the time to chat with each of the speakers. Second-year kinesiology students Erica Linde and Cynthia Ly both felt the event was worthwhile, and that they would attend again in the future.

“It opened my mind up to the different fields out there,” said Ms. Linde.

“It was inspiring to hear each person talk about making their own path and exploring something new,” added Ms. Ly.


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