Sport and Fitness Manager, Leeds Trinity University and Founder of Craig Parnham Personal Trainer
What made you choose to attend Leeds Trinity and what are your best memories from your time here?
My main reason for choosing the course I did was that at the time I didn't really have a good idea of what profession I wanted to go into after university. I knew my main interests where in sport and health and the course allowed me to keep my options open whilst also exploring new topics.
I thoroughly enjoyed the three years whilst I was at university. The course itself was engaging and the whole 'being at university' lifestyle was great. Being at university opened lots of opportunities for me both personally and professionally and I look back on these memories fondly.
How do you feel your time at Leeds Trinity has supported you in your career and life more generally?My university experience allowed me to grow not just in an academic sense but it also allowed me to develop some key life skills.
My time at Leeds Trinity also provided a great platform for me to launch my career in health and fitness, mainly through a very successful first-year professional work placement.
Where did you do your professional work placements?For my first year placement the university arranged an interview with a local health and fitness club. I look back on the placement as a huge success as part way through I was offered a part time position as a fitness instructor. This opened the door for me to gain valuable, industry specific experience whilst I was studying at Leeds Trinity. This was great as it allowed me a practical environment to implement the knowledge gained through my university studies.
I continued to work part-time as a Fitness Instructor, Receptionist, Pool Attendant and Duty Manager through my second- and third- years of study.
What three words would you use to describe Leeds Trinity?Friendly, supportive and personal.
What is your current job title?Sport and Fitness Duty Manager at Leeds Trinity University, and Founder of Craig Parnham Personal Trainer
Can you give us a brief summary of your current roles and how it feels to still be part of Leeds Trinity?In my current role at Leeds Trinity I'm heavily involved in the day-to-day operation of the sports facilities. I work closely with the Sports Facilities Manager and Sports Development team to plan and develop programmes for engaging students in sports and healthy behaviours.
My role also includes ensuring the sports facilities play an important part in the University's role within the wider community by initiating and maintaining links with Schools, Community clubs and Sports teams. In addition to this, I am also a Founder of my own personal training business, providing a range of personal training and nutritional services including fat loss and strength programmes to a wide variety of individuals.
What is the best part of your job?The best part of my job is the rapport that I have with my customers, clients and members. It's great to build relationships with people that you work closely with on a regular basis. This along with making a genuine difference to people's wellbeing and quality of life.
What advice would you give current students/recent graduates embarking on a similar career path?My advice is to get out there and try things. Some of my experiences during and also after my time at university weren't always positive, but they helped me decide what I wanted to do career wise.
I'm a big believer that you get out what you put in – go into placements thinking what you can get out of them. Volunteer for projects and offer to work for free, this is a great way of getting better at what you want to do and developing the skills future employers will be looking for.