Rachael Hearn

Major: Exercise Science

Host Organization: Marietta Rehab

Location: Marietta, GA

What made you choose your current major?

 I came in as undeclared my freshman year and had no idea what major or career field I wanted to enter into, but I did have aspirations of swimming for Berry all four years.  Unfortunately, a hip injury prevented me from doing that; however with this injury came a daily trip to Berry's athletic training room.  I was overwhelmed by the care I received from not only our certified trainers, but the student workers as well, and when the day came for me to retire from my swimming career, I decided athletic training was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and declaring a major in Exercise Science came swiftly after that.

How did you find your internship?

My internship supervisor, Dr. Weeks, is a close friend of my Dad. Using my network, I was able to gain an internship.

Why did you want to do an internship?

 I have had going on three years of experience working as a student worker in Berry's Sports Medicine Department, so I wanted an internship that wouldn't be so focusing around the basics of an athletic trainer. I wanted to gain as much experience as I could with sports that I wouldn't have the opportunity to work with at Berry.  I also decided that gaining some in-depth experience in physical therapy would be just as beneficial for the future and the two clinics I spent my time at had numerous athletes (both amateur and professional) which made my time there that much more valuable. 


What did you do and what did you accomplish (above and beyond the basic job description) during this internship?

 I worked in four different venues throughout my internship.  The first was with Old White Atlanta Rugby where I worked with the highest contact sport I have ever experienced with some injuries I rarely, if ever, see.  I worked with Atlanta Knights Hockey where I experienced what it's like to work with children, as well as higher level athletes.  At both Marietta Pain & Rehab and Atlanta Sports Medicine I was a part of the rehabilitation for the public as well as high end athletes that are apart of organizations such as UFC, MLB, and WNBA.  What I accomplished can only be retold through my various experiences.  


What has been the most valuable or favorite part of your experience?

My favorite part of this internship was the opportunity given by Dr. Weeks to work in so many different environments.  I gained experience in areas that some can only dream of and I feel that it will put me ahead of the crowd in the future.

  Rachel Hearn II

What was the most challenging aspect of your experience?

Working with rugby was extremely challenging.  The injuries are numerous and range anywhere from a broken nose to a completely dislocated shoulder.  Working with children was also somewhat challenging because they don't always know how to explain their pain or issues.  


What advice would you give other students related to finding an internship or how to make the best use of the internship?

I would say for future students, start looking for internships ahead of time.  It took me an entire semester just to find the perfect internship and I don't think I could have been any happier with my experiences.  The happier you are and the more interested you are in your internship, the more beneficial your time will be and in turn you'll learn a lot more.


Were you asked to come back or offered a position?

The Atlanta Knights offered me a position working with their Junior Elite & Empire teams this season under the supervision of Dr. Weeks.