Grady Webb has taken a more interesting path than most people before deciding to study at UCOL’s Manawatū campus.
The 30-year-old has had a five-year career in the NZ Defence Force as an Ammunitions Technician and worked as a camera operator in a drainage business before turning his focus in a totally new direction.
“I was ready for a new challenge. I have always enjoyed the gym environment and working with others to achieve fitness goals, so I thought I’d look at what was available in that field,” he says.
UCOL’s NZ Certificate in Exercise appealed to Grady, and he undertook the six-month programme to see how he felt in a tertiary learning environment. He was hooked.
“I was one of the older students, but our class bonded really well. Probably one of the hardest things was going from a fulltime wage to a student allowance!”
Now in his third year of a Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise and Wellness), Grady has majored in the Physical Health and Wellness area of the degree, allowing him to develop skills and knowledge for using exercise to assist people manage common health risks.
He is presently on a six-month placement at Palmerston North’s TBI Health. Supervised by Exercise Therapist Sarah Jowsey, who runs the DHB-funded Spinal Rehabilitation Programme, his placement will wrap up at the end of November.
Grady is really enjoying the placement within the tight-knit and friendly team. He says he has learnt a lot by sitting in on consultations, interacting with clients, and observing Physiotherapy sessions.
Sarah says it is a win-win situation having Grady working at the clinic. “Having him here means we can treat more people as we gradually develop his role and increase his responsibilities. And he benefits by gaining valuable experience and confidence in a clinical environment.”
Ultimately Grady would like to be a Clinical Exercise Physiologist, a qualification requiring postgraduate study and allowing him to be registered in this profession.
In the meantime, he is happy to start his career where he can use his knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on people’s lives.