Brandon Jackson

Brandon Jackson chose Iowa State University for the kinesiology program. When he isn't studying to become a physical therapist, you can find him working out, watching Netflix, or thrift shopping.

Brandon Jackson tests out career goals with on-campus job

When both his father and his athletic trainer coincidentally suggested he pursue a career in medicine on the same day, Brandon decided to declare a major in kinesiology — the study of the anatomy, physiology, and mechanics of body movement. After researching possible career paths, he now sees himself working as a physical therapist.

“I personally want to work with either pediatric cardiac rehabilitation or with the elderly,” he said.

Brandon put his career goals to the test when he began working as a personal trainer at State Gym. Looking ahead at graduate school, he knew that gaining experience in his field would help his application stand out from the rest.

“Physical therapy schools look for additional certifications when you apply, so it’s nice to have," Brandon said.

As a personal trainer, Brandon works with a variety of clients. Because his boss knew he was interested in working with the elderly population, she matched Brandon with an elderly staff member who requested a personal trainer.

“I’ve worked with him for three years,” Brandon said. “It’s really interesting to have to work around his previous injuries plus the fact that he’s older.”

Coaching this client has reaffirmed Brandon’s commitment to working with the elderly. For students who know they want to go to medical school, physical therapy school, or similar post-undergraduate studies, he suggests seeking out relevant experience as soon as possible.

“That summer out of high school, start taking your prerequisites,” he said. “Get yourself ahead of the game.”