Alumna Ellen Yin shares what she’s learned as a 5 under 5 panelist.
Ellen graduated in 2016 with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science and recently joined Samaritan Health Plans as a public relations and marketing coordinator. Prior to joining Samaritan, she worked in the fitness industry with a focus on social media management, influencer marketing and digital content creation. Ellen has worked with global brands such as Bodybuilding.com and the Miss Universe Organization and has garnered features in Glamour magazine, SELF.com, Shape.com, The Penny Hoarder and Her Campus.
Synergies: How did being a student in the Exercise and Sport Science program prepare you for your current role?
Ellen: “The internships I completed as part of my undergraduate course requirements gave me hands-on experience in the fitness industry and allowed me to develop new skills and professional relationships. My first job out of college was with the same company I had interned for during my senior year.”
Synergies: Was there a piece of advice, or a lesson you learned while a student in the CPHHS that you’ve taken with you?
Ellen: “Anatomy and Physiology was by far the most challenging – and rewarding – course I took as a student. I was pushed to think outside the box and use what we learned in class to solve new and unfamiliar problems. My professor, Lindsay Biga, really emphasized this process in her clinical-style test questions and class discussions. It’s nice to know things, but it’s more important to be able to apply that knowledge in practical situations.”
Synergies: What do you appreciate most about the transition from school to your career?
“I love that the work I do makes a tangible difference in clients’ lives, rather than serving only to further my own grade.”
Synergies: Did you receive a scholarship/fellowship or financial aid during your time as a student at OSU?
Ellen: “Yes! I was awarded the Triad Scholarship, OSU Alumni Association Ironman Award and Weatherford Education Fund, as well as a Federal Pell Grant and Oregon Opportunity Grant.”
Synergies: What advice do you have for current students of your program as they look for their first job out of college?
Ellen: “First, stop waiting for the right opportunity to find you – create your own. Months before graduation, I landed my first full-time, salaried job by pitching the position to the company’s CEO.
Second, don’t be afraid to reach out to strangers. Talk to as many people as you can, whenever you can. Take an inventory of your skills and seek out ways to solve issues for people in your industry. Always look to serve others first before you ask for anything in return – that’s how you network intelligently and build lasting relationships.”
Third and most importantly, be a student of life. Be a proactive learner and keep teaching yourself new skills. Read books, listen to podcasts, attend webinars, etc. Show prospective employers the value you can add to their team.”