Annika VanEssen

Major: Kinesiology and Health
Minor/option/emphasis: KIN-Community and Public Health
Company/Organization: City of Ames
Company/Organization website:
Destination: Ames, IA
Timeframe: Spring
Advisor/Coordinator Email:


My internship responsibilities included the planning and implementation of a fitness incentive program, evaluation of programs, planning and conducting several health screenings, creating the February Heart Health Month bulletin board, program promotion, data input for the wellness program, and helping out with fitness testing and nutrition education with the firefighters. Other responsibilities of mine included attending Wellness Team meetings, Healthiest Ames meetings, Health Insurance Advisory Committee Meetings, and other relevant meetings. I also helped out wherever I was needed in the office.


My greatest accomplishment from my internship experience was creating the 10 week fitness incentive program for employees to participate in. The fitness incentive program was called the Fit City Challenge. All city employees could participate in the challenge for a chance to win a prize in the end. Having this responsibility gave me a lot more experience with planning, implementing, and evaluating a program. A lot more goes into program planning than what I thought! It was really rewarding to see how excited employees would get about the program and hear about the positive effect the program was having on people. The evaluation of the program was a great time to reflect on what I could have done better and what I was doing a good job with.

What advice would you give?

My advice for future students who will be doing an internship is to be open to feedback and use it as a way to learn. Your way will not always be the best way, and that is okay! Use every opportunity of your internship as a way to grow and learn. Really listen to what your supervisors have to say to you because they want you to do your best!

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