Hannah Van Roekel

Hannah Van Roekel grows as a professional in athletic training program

With her involvement in outside-of-class athletic training programs and the way she excels in classes, Hannah is setting herself up to thrive in the world of physical therapy or athletic training once she graduates.

Hannah is able to apply what she learns in her classes almost every day by working as an athletic trainer for an Iowa State sport, which changes each semester (this semester she’s assigned to gymnastics). There are days when she spends up to six hours working in a clinic and observing professionals.

“You get to apply all the skills you learn [in classes] and basically do the job,” she said. “You learn everything you need to before entering the career.”

Hannah first knew she wanted to go into athletic training when she dealt with a few injuries as a high school athlete. Although she briefly questioned her career path as a freshman, she said once she got into the athletic training program her decision solidified immensely.

While she’s involved in multiple clubs related to her major, Hannah’s favorite is the Fellowship of Athletic Trainers. Through this organization she’s learned what it takes to work in the field and make an impact.

“[Fellowship of Athletic Trainers] gives students opportunities to discuss different cases from trainers in multiple sports,” Hannah said. “There [are] a ton of different aspects, whether it’s helping athletes with mental health or helping them connect with other professionals. We also talk a lot about resume building.”

Hannah said the biggest challenge she faces in college is time management – between her classes, the athletic training program, and other clubs and activities, she’s had to learn how to balance it all. However, she wouldn’t change anything.

“It’s definitely worth it,” she said.