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Bethany Foster

BSc (Hons) Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science
Graduated 2020

Portrait image of Bethany

Within the BSc Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science course I explored a variety of different areas within the health, exercise and wellbeing sector. From fitness instructing, GP exercise referral and clinical exercise physiology, to human nutrition, public health and health psychology, I was able to find those areas in which I excel and which I wanted to experience further. Spending time in the labs on the Applied Exercise Science module was invaluable for my job now as I carry out health and physiological tests that I learned on my course. The course gave me a breadth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of health, nutrition and exercise, which is great because I know that, although I love my job as a health physiologist, I can branch out into nutrition, personal training, or even massage therapy in the future, if I want to.

Having finished university in July 2020, I worked as a part-time fitness instructor alongside applying for full-time roles. This job role came in handy as I had already had some experience working as a fitness instructor at the University after finishing a level 2 gym instructing qualification during my first year. I actually had a paid job with Solent University while I was studying, running exercise classes for women (the ‘Health for Her’ initiative). This gave me loads of confidence when I went for my first interview, as well as putting a few extra pounds in my pocket while I studied. It’s so important to pin down that first job when you leave university, and gaining that experience at Solent – alongside the other initiatives I got involved in – was the route into my career.

This course has prepared me well for starting a career in the area that I knew I was passionate about when I started university. I now have my dream job and am excited about what I’ll do in the future.

When I came across a health physiologist role being advertised, I noticed that the job description included all of the areas I had studied within my course, as well as opportunities to expand my knowledge further. I have to admit I couldn’t believe it when I got the job – it’s like my dream job! I am working with physiotherapists and doctors in a clinical setting so, although I bring my own skills and knowledge to the team, I’m still learning so much from my colleagues.

My responsibilities include:

  • BUPA health assessments (body composition, spirometry, blood count/haemoglobin/blood glucose testing, cardio-pulmonary testing, cholesterol profile, exercise capacity testing and ECGs).
  • Behaviour change support to encourage healthier lifestyles.
  • Working alongside GPs and physiotherapists to ensure clients are fully supported in all areas of their disease and sports injury rehabilitation.
  • Creating individual lifestyle plans using motivational interviewing techniques to promote behaviour change.
  • Nutrition adviser.

Lastly, the course leader and lecturers were very supportive and always on hand to offer help and assistance if needed. I have to admit that I struggled a bit at first. It can be overwhelming at times to get used to a new institution and workload, but I could feel myself grow through the process, and they were amazing in the way they spotted areas where I needed help and knew exactly what to do to improve me. Those first few months soon became a distant memory, and I met loads of friends and had some memorable times at Solent.

All in all, this course has prepared me well for starting a career in the area that I knew I was passionate about when I started university, and has given me the confidence to immerse myself in a variety of different work environments. I now have my dream job and am excited about what I’ll do in the future.