12 April 2016: A last minute decision to switch degrees has paid dividends for new University of Canberra graduate, Jonathan Beale.
Mr Beale first set his sights on studying exercise science and coaching but changed to the relatively new field of exercise physiology and rehabilitation.
"Exercise physiologists are similar to other allied health professionals like physiotherapists or dietitians. We're like a doctor that only prescribes one thing and that's exercise," he said.
"We provide personalised exercise programing for a person. We treat anything from muscular-skeletal type issues through to chronic conditions like diabetes or even depression."
The 25-year-old was thrilled to graduate last week and has already put his skills into practice working alongside exercise physiologist and Paralympian Damien Bowen at Vibe Rehabilitation in Queanbeyan.
"Exercise physiology is such a new profession in the scheme of things so there are not a whole lot of jobs where you can work alongside experienced practitioners. I'm very lucky in that I get to work alongside someone who has a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge," he said.
Mr Beale said he finds the work fulfilling and enjoys helping people to reach their goals.
"I really enjoy the variety of exercise physiology. You're not doing the same thing every day. There are all sorts of different people who need help and I can help them all, which is good," he said.
"You get to witness some awesome turnarounds like seeing a person who couldn't stand up without assistance being able to get out of a chair on their own. It means a lot to them and it's great to help them get to that."
Mr Beale will soon begin studying for his master's degree and would eventually like to gain a doctorate.
He thanked his wife Michelle for supporting him throughout his four year degree particularly during the last year where he juggled his home life and full-time study while completing 500 hours of prac as a requirement of the degree.
"I couldn't have done it without my wife - she's made it a lot easier. I think I wouldn't have done as well without having her and my girls Jasmine, four-years-old, and Evelyn, 18 months, motivating me," he said.
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