Erin Holt ’16, Exercise Science

Soon After Graduating, She Runs a Cardiac Rehab Program

Erin Holt

After her junior year at NVU-Lyndon, Erin Holt ’16 had an internship with the cardiac rehabilitation program at Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster, New Hampshire. That led eventually to her current position as Weeks’ first clinical exercise physiologist.

Erin, an exercise science major, was a health coach at a fitness center after she finished at NVU, and then she accepted employment at Weeks. “To be the first clinical exercise physiologist and to run a cardiac rehab program at Weeks just two years after graduation is something I’m proud of, and I definitely owe it to the NVU-Lyndon faculty,” says Erin, who lives in Lyndonville.

Passionate Professors Support Students’ Success

Her professors helped Erin get the Weeks internship. “The faculty set you up to succeed if you put the time in. I’ll be forever thankful to them for that,” she says.

The exercise science faculty convinced Erin to choose NVU when she toured the campus in high school. “You could just see the professors’ passion for this field and their passion for teaching. That pretty much sold me there,” says Erin, who pursued concentrations in health fitness and strength and conditioning.

Other advantages that NVU offers sold Erin, too. “I didn’t want to be just a number in a large lecture hall,” she says. “I wanted a small college that would give me a home away from home” where she could know faculty and staff personally.

Through NVU’s National Accreditations, Students Can Earn Certifications

And when she researched NVU-Lyndon, she learned about the exercise science program’s unusual dual accreditations by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs in coordination with the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) Education Recognition Program. “For being a small school, it stood out for me that they were accredited like that,” says Erin who, after graduation, became a certified clinical exercise physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine.

One benefit of NVU’s accreditations is that all exercise science students can prepare for certain national certification exams through NVU courses and, if they qualify, become certified before they graduate to help launch their career or build their resume for graduate school. Erin became a certified personal trainer through the NSCA while she was at NVU.

Varied Real-World Experiences Helped Her Stand Out to Employers

Erin’s internship was just one of the diverse hands-on experiences she had through NVU that prepared her to start her career successfully, including attending national conferences in the exercise science field. She worked on mock stress tests and blood pressure assessments in the campus exercise physiology lab. She was a fitness instructor for NVU faculty and a personal trainer on campus. And she helped create an exercise program for older adults as part of NVU’s health/fitness intervention program for the broader community.

“When I started my career, I wasn’t as nervous as I would have been without those experiences. I was confident in my abilities in terms of finding a job after school. All that time we spent in the lab made me comfortable going into that right away in the workforce…I don’t think the education at NVU could have been any better than it was,” says Erin, who also is a clinical exercise physiologist at Littleton Regional Healthcare in New Hampshire.

NVU Prepared Her to Make an Impact in Her Work

In her position at Weeks Medical Center, Erin works mostly with older adults, helping them get stronger and recover more smoothly from heart problems. Many return to thank her after they finish her program. “It just makes me love my job. Knowing you make a difference is pretty rewarding,” she says. “You really get to know them, and you make a big impact on their recovery.”

NVU prepared her to make an impact. The demanding exercise science program challenged Erin to excel — with faculty encouragement all the way. “The professors hold you to a high standard. They expect so much out of you. If you put the time in, they’ll give it right back to you,” Erin says.

“I think that’s what sets Lyndon apart — you get that one-on-one interaction with faculty and build a relationship that’s lasting,” she says. “If you’re looking to develop relationships with faculty and staff to guide you into your career, NVU-Lyndon is definitely the place to be.