Amos Kotz

Amos advises students at Iowa State

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio (“Go Tribe!”), Amos had a tricky time choosing between Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota. However, after a visit to campus—and a little persuasion from his current-enrolled brother at the time—he decided on Iowa State, enrolling under open-option.

Amos felt pressured to choose a degree. He knew he wanted something in the pre-med field, but without knowing which path, he chose genetics. Quickly, he learned it wasn’t the right fit due to the fact he didn’t enjoy going to classes.

“Things led me away from genetics,” he said. “I took BIO 313 and I thought ‘this is going to be my job? I don’t want to even do it now’.”

During the second half of his freshman year along with his entire second semester, Amos served as an open-option ambassador. Two times a week he would sit down with students and their families to help them pinpoint a career path. He learned a lot from this experience, and enjoyed assisting students.

After a little more research himself, Amos discovered the kinesiology program in the College of Human Sciences. He decided to switch over and start his journey to become a physical therapist–which he enjoys because it provides more of a one-on-one experience than genetics.

“Physical therapy recognizes everyone is different, and they are medically treated different,” he said. “There’s a human element and you get to see their progress from the beginning to the end.”

Since then, Amos has enjoyed his courses, and even observed a physical therapist in action during the summer. He’s grateful he found his path and hopes his story can help other students feel more comfortable taking time to find theirs.

“A lot of people come in and don’t know what they want to do, so they rush into a major,” he said. “I’ve been there, I felt like I had to pick something. But you don’t. Use your electives, take that psych or history class, just take your time and find it.”