Athletic Training Student Cover Letter

Dream job: How I became an athletic trainer

Taking care of these Tigers keeps Shelly Mullenix on her toes.

Shelly Mullenix, senior athletic trainer, LSU football

Shelly Mullenix describes herself as a “helper.” And her job requires helping some of the toughest people around—Division I college football players.

As the senior associate athletic trainer for the Louisiana State University football team, Mullenix, 46, plays a daily role in supporting the health needs of the players, a regimen that includes exercise prescription, nutrition, and injury treatment and prevention. She also serves as director of wellness for the athletic program.

She prides herself on taking care of her student-athletes during such an intense, volatile time of their lives. She’s also proud when they come back to see her years after graduation. “Pain is inflicted in this building through workouts and injuries,” Mullenix says. “But they still have good memories.”

Jobs like hers are growing much faster than the average for all occupations in the U.S.—21% for athletic trainers compared to 11% for all U.S. occupations—and typically pay anywhere from $30,000 to more than $55,000, according to PayScale.

How she got into the field

Mullenix showed interest in the profession from a young age. Growing up in North Miami Beach Florida, she worked in a sporting goods store and she even served as a student athletic trainer at her school. “I always had an interest in being outside, not being stuck at a desk,” she says.

After high school, she headed to Florida State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in health education. She also earned a master’s degree in athletic administration and completed a graduate assistantship as an athletic trainer there. She stayed on as an assistant athletic trainer after graduation. She joined the LSU staff in 1997.

What her typical day is like

There’s little “typical” about an athletic trainer’s day. Not only does this position have irregular hours, some could say Mullenix works around the clock.

It may start with an early check on any athletes who are sick or injured, then relaying their statuses to the coaching staff so they can coordinate their plans for the day. Perhaps a player pulled a muscle at practice. Does he need another day to recover?

The job frequently involves sifting through complex, private medical information, while collaborating with athletes, coaches, parents and other health care professionals.

Since she works with student athletes, she might also meet with people from the academic side of the university, particularly if a student is at risk of losing eligibility.

"Overall, it’s a very collaborative environment, one that encompasses life on and off the field for the student-athletes she works closely with," Mullenix says. "It’s not just about the body. It’s about mind and spirit, too. I can address the whole kid, not just his injury.”

What skills she says are important

Nearly all states require athletic trainers to have a license or certification, with requirements varying by state. You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the profession, but master’s degrees are becoming increasingly common.

You’ll also need to be pretty fit yourself. This is a physically demanding job, and stamina is a must. “You’re out there supporting 300-pound bodies, and the heat in south Louisiana is obviously pretty extreme,” Mullenix says.

And no matter how much you’re sweating, you need to be able to keep a cool head. Her job requires her to make quick decisions to protect the well-being of her athletes, often in high-stress situations. Putting them back on the field before they are fully recovered could permanently damage their health and athletic careers, for example. And all this can happen with millions of people watching. “It takes a backbone,” she says.

What she says is the biggest challenge

The toughest thing about the job is how all-encompassing it can be. Mullenix's role is not always confined to traditional business hours—or even the duties you might assume are part of being an athletic trainer. Her job includes concerns over grades, relationship conflicts or other personal issues. “If kids are struggling at night, they may call us," she says. "Because they trust us."

During high-profile games, things can get especially intense. But you have to strike a balance when it comes to taking care of yourself, your family and others, she adds.

“If I don’t have a way to actively release the stress, it would build to the point where I would not be able to help other people," she says.

This isn’t just a matter of being selfish. “There’s no sense in being frayed and crazy and trying to help other people.”

Her career advice

Know that it takes more than a love of sports to make a great athletic trainer.

You just have to love this work in particular—and there’s a lot to love, Mullenix says. “To know that you can positively impact the student athlete’s life by returning them to full health, strength and elite athletic ability is both rewarding and meaningful.”

Inset photo: Mullenix shares an emotional moment with former LSU center Ben Wilkerson after the team had just won the 2003 BCS National Championship game.

Photo credit: LSU Athletics

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NOTE: Design Your Letter Heading to Suite Your Style. Headings are left justified below for simplicity:

Sample Cover Letter #1

Your Name
Address
City, State ZIP Code
Phone

Date

Name/Address of Person Receiving your letter

Dear Person’s Name:

I am very interested in the Fitness Director position opening at the Los Gatos Sports and Wellness facility. I have a strong educational background and several professional health and fitness experiences which I feel uniquely qualify me for this job opportunity. I am currently a certified personal trainer and am completing my degree in Exercise Science at the University of New Mexico.

My education and professional background has provided me extensive organizational and managerial experience. For instance, in my internship at CitiWorld I helped to established the fitness class program, market it, and was closely involved in designing the assessment and prescription exercise system now utilized.

My Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science is a comprehensive education in anatomy, kinesiology, management concepts in sport and fitness settings, worksite wellness, fitness assessment and prescription, stress testing, EKG, and athletic training. I have also taken courses related to fitness for special populations, such as the elderly.

I enjoy working in the fitness industry and feel I am most capable of developing great rapport with the people I help. I am reliable and dependable and take great pride in my performance as a professional. I am committed to working hard and seeing the challenges I accept lead to successful outcomes. In addition, I am an energetic team player who works well with co-workers and colleagues.

Thank you for providing this opportunity. I would enjoy being a part of your organizational team and look forward to speaking with you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Sample Cover Letter #2 (From Robert Curtis, ES UG Student)

Human Resources Manager
UNM Gym
#1 Johnson Center Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Dear Mr. ‘Person’s Name”:

I have been interested in working for UNM SuperGym for some time now because I consider it the premier fitness facility in Albuquerque. I have several years experience as a self-employed personal trainer, but would prefer to work in a facility. I believe my experience, my ACE certification, and my achievements in Exercise Science will make me an excellent partner with UNM Supergym.

In addition to my knowledge of Exercise Science, I have other qualities that will help me succeed as a personal trainer. Years of experience in customer service have helped me develop the ability to understand and relate to the needs of the people I work with. Classroom presenting experience and public speaking have helped me learn to present information in a manner that is easily understood.

I have always liked helping others enjoy exercise as I do. I am committed to working as a fitness professional, and will be a mature, dependable employee with a positive attitude.

Thank you for considering me for a position at your facility. My strengths include my university-educated knowledge of fitness, my people skills, and my personal training experience. Please contact me anytime at 858-####, or page me at 530-####. I look forward to talking with you soon.

Sincerely yours,


Robert Curtis

Sample Cover Letter #3 (From Kenneth Moulaison, ES UG Student)

Kenneth M. Moulaison
#### Morris St NE
Apt. ###
Albuquerque, NM 87110
505-555-555 Home
505-555-555-Cell

February 10, 2002

Colorado Athletic Club-Inverness
Colorado Springs, CO ######

Dear Mr. Person’s Name:

I am very interested in the Fitness Director position opening at the Colorado Athletic Club-Inverness. I have had several professional health and fitness experiences that I feel uniquely qualify me for this job opportunity. I am currently a certified personal trainer (NSCA-CPT) and am completing my degree in Exercise Science at the University of New Mexico (graduate May 2003).

My education and professional background have provided me with extensive organizational, managerial and professional experience. For instance, I have participated and organized group projects, classes, lectures, and fundraisers during my internship practicums.

Studies in Exercise Science have given me a comprehensive education in anatomy, kinesiology, management concepts in sport and fitness settings, worksite wellness, fitness assessment and prescription, stress testing, EKG, and athletic training. I have also taken courses related to fitness for special populations, such as the elderly and the disabled. I feel very competently trained to work with a number of age groups and special populations.

I enjoy working in the fitness industry and feel I am most capable of developing great rapport with the people I help. I am reliable and dependable and take great pride in my performance as a professional. I am committed to working hard and seeing the challenges I accept lead to successful outcomes. In addition, I am an energetic team player who works well with co-workers and colleagues and strives for success.

Thank you for considering me for this position and I look forward to meeting with you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Kenneth M. Moulaison

Sample Cover Letter #4 (From Lynette Ewer, ES UG Student)

Lynette Ewer
#############
Albuquerque, NM 87113
December 4, 2002

Kathy Dieruf
Admissions Chairperson
UNM School of Medicine
HSSB Room 204

Dear Ms. Dieruf,

I am very interested in the physical therapy program at the University of New Mexico. I volunteered over 220 hours at the Veterans Administration Hospital (2001- 2002), which gave me the opportunity to experience and enjoy several different aspects of the physical therapy field. I am currently completing my undergraduate degree in exercise science, which I feel will enhance my abilities as a therapist.

My volunteer background has included the following: wound care, rehabilitation exercise programs, and spinal cord injury and mobility impaired patients in the therapy pool. I also gained experience in patient rehabilitation in the areas of knee and hip replacement surgery.

My bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science has provided me with the knowledge of exercise testing, EKG interpretation, fitness assessment and prescription, anatomy, and kinesiology. I have also taken courses that involved special populations, such as people with disabilities and the elderly.

The UNM physical therapy program came highly recommended by graduate students and physical therapists that I have talked with, and that the curriculum is outstanding. Through my research on deciding which school to attend I found that the New Mexico School of Medicine is one of the top in the nation. I would be proud to be a student in the UNM physical therapy program.

Through my volunteer work at the VA Hospital I have developed a compassionate approach and commitment to assisting people with medical and physical disabilities. I would enjoy becoming a physical therapy student and look forward to speaking with you in the near future. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Lynette Ewer

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