Careers in Employee Health and Fitness: Grad Spotlights


Since May is Global Employee Health & Wellness Month, we’re highlighting two AFPA graduates who made their dreams possible and began working in the corporate and employee wellness space.

Katie Jensen

Tell us about your background. How did you get into a health and fitness career?

Like a lot of people, I was pretty active as a child and played sports in school, but after college and starting to work full time, my fitness definitely took a back seat.  After quite a few years of working in retail and developing some bad habits and a high amount of stress, I started working out again in my own home to try to regain my health.  Once I realized how good it felt to be fit and healthy again, I decided it was time for a career change, and I looked into personal training certifications.  That was back in 2009, and I have been in the fitness field ever since!

What is your job in corporate wellness? 

I currently have the pleasure of working for a local studio in Atlanta, Excellence in Exercise, where we not only offer in-house personal training and group classes, but we also manage multiple corporate wellness contracts.  I get to assist in all different aspects of filling the services that we offer–teaching group fitness classes, helping with 5k training programs or fitness challenges, performing employee fitness assessments, teaching basic nutrition and wellness workshops, and any other task that the companies may request.  Having the opportunity to teach employee wellness was a big part of why I wanted to get certified through AFPA as a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant on top of my personal training certification.

What is your favorite part of being a trainer and wellness consultant?

Though my first love is training personal clients, I have come to very much enjoy the variety of having the corporate opportunities available to assist with.  I get to have a positive impact on many more people than I would have solely in my one-on-one training business.  Being involved with the different challenges and workshops we offer helps me continue to learn and grow in my own skills, which then translates to all other aspects of my role as a coach. Currently, we’re offering all of our usual corporate fitness classes online for the companies we service, and it is especially rewarding knowing how thankful the employees are to be able to keep up with their health and fitness at home.

Why do you think it is important for employers to invest in their employee overall health?

I think the word has gotten out that employees who have regular access to opportunities to work out and stay active in general are more productive and satisfied than employees who don’t. From personal experience, I can tell you that people specifically look for positions at companies that offer corporate gyms and other wellness programming, so companies are smart to offer that if they want to snag a quality workforce. Of course, there is also a monetary benefit in that helping to keep your employees healthy means less strain on healthcare resources, sick time, and call outs. The great thing is that there are all different levels of offerings you can put out to your employees based on the size of the company and resources, whether it is as simple as partnering with a local gym for reduced membership fees or having a fully staffed onsite facility. There’s so many options and benefits to employers and employees to invest in some form of wellness programming!

Follow Katie on Instagram: @plantstoplanks

Beth Grace 

Tell us about your background. How did you get into a career in health and fitness?

In college, I started getting physically active, working out at the gym six days a week. It remained mostly a personal passion, exploring different sports like rock climbing, ultimate Frisbee, and snowboarding (I’m the outdoorsy type). When I became pregnant about three years ago was when I became even more conscious of the food I was putting into my body. I began consuming more organic foods, including an organic farm share. My postpartum journey has been very rocky with lots of mental and physical health challenges. I did not find the answers from all my many visits to medical providers but through my own trial and error as I kept searching for answers and modifying my diet further. This experience made me consider taking my strength and desire to mentor and coach people (previously in education settings) and move it into a health and well-being focus. That’s how I discovered AFPA and completed the health coaching certification just days before starting my corporate wellness position!

What is your job in corporate wellness?

I currently serve as an engagement guide and a health guide. Our company operates one of the largest corporate well-being programs globally, and my main role is to reach the employees of our clients to engage them with their well-being benefits and specifically to encourage them to sign up for our health coaching services. I also serve occasionally as a health guide, helping people review their annual physical/biometrics results and set health goals. With COVID-19, my company has really ramped up support efforts for our members, and we have provided helpful resources to promote employee well-being during this challenging time, including coaching calls to address and support COVID-19 concerns specifically.

What is your favorite part of being an engagement guide/health guide?

I love to come alongside members to empower them to make progress in their own health and well-being and to offer support for this journey. I also love connecting people to resources that can help them thrive in life.

Why do you think it is important for employers to invest in their employee overall health? 

If an employer cares about employee overall health and invests in them, you will have healthier and happier people, which exudes benefits across their organization – energy, creativity, camaraderie, productivity, the list keeps going. I’m thankful for a job where I help people understand and take advantage of their well-being benefits! 

Follow Beth on Instagram: @msbethgrace