Career Connections


Eva Soria

Major: Kinesiology and Health


Minor/option/emphasis: KIN-Exercise Science

Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Sioux City, IA

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: USAA
Company/Organization website: https://www.usaa.com
Title: Corporate Wellness Intern
Destination: Tampa, Florida
Timeframe: May 24-August 12, 2016

Advisor/Coordinator Email: dpower@iastate.edu

I was responsible for...
Teaching group fitness classes, leading fitness assessments, presenting corporate lunch and learn seminars, creating a wellness incentive program, daily interaction with USAA employees and on the fitness floor, daily heart rates and blood pressures for (5-6 weeks), and working one-on-one with a case study which includes: personal training, writing Ex Rx's and updating those as needed, food logging, tracking progress, and scheduling a final fitness assessment.

My most valuable effort...
My co-intern and I created a wellness incentive program with was themed with the board game, Battleship. This worked perfectly with USAA's military background. It was valuable for many reasons; Mainly because it allowed me to experience first had just how much planning, creating and advertising goes into implementing a program. Additionally, we were able to get new employees to sign up and "play." Some have never exercised before so they were true beginners. They stuck with it and most days pushed themselves because they wanted to win! It was encouraging and well worth all the hard work, planning, and time that went into running this three week game. The employees and my supervisors absolutely loved the creativity and execution!

I will never forget...
My most memorable experience isn't exactly a positive experience. I was practicing skills with my supervisor, and I wasn't exactly getting positive feed back/critiques. In fact, it felt like every attempt was getting shot down and regardless of what I did, it wasn't good enough. But I was able to keep my composure and brush it off. I did my best to remind myself that she was having a rough day, and pushed through it. Though it wasn't positive, I definitely learned that all situations and work environments won't always be great 24/7; so be realistic, have patience and no matter what, continue to work hard and respect your supervisors.

Advice for others...
My first advice is not to be afraid to leave Iowa or your hometown. I grew and learned so much simply by living in a new environment, around people I've never met. It's also a great way to travel and sight see new areas before fully becoming a working adult. My second advice is to never doubt yourself or your ability. Don't be prideful, arrogant or rude! But have confidence in yourself and what you know. I had a few rough experiences in the beginning, which had me doubting my skills and education, but that wasn't an issue on my end. It may seem like you're incompetent or lack experience and knowledge, or that your efforts aren't being noticed, but that's a natural process. Just remember to learn what you can from every situation and your hard work will eventually pay off! Practice patience, keep your composure (especially under pressure) and turn every opportunity into a learning experience.

I landed this assignment by...
I e-mailed the supervisor expressing my interest along with a cover letter, resume, references and a number to reach me at. She then scheduled a phone interview and a week later offered me the position. I later found out she had a lot of interested students before I applied, so make sure you put your best foot forward and show your interest.

I wanted this experience because...
I have family in the military and USAA is well known with serving the military. I also wanted to get my foot in the corporate wellness door and travel, so this was a great opportunity.

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