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Southeast Missouri State University

Athletic Training Intern Works with the Houston Ballet

College of Health and Human Services
Photo of Schmidt

Southeast Missouri State University athletic training student Danielle Schmidt is gaining professional experience while completing a six-week internship with The Methodist Hospital System in Houston, Texas.

“The need for athletic trainers and health care providers at the facilities for fine arts is a growing aspect of the profession. I am fortunate enough to get a taste for it and have something to relate to if and when I work with nontraditional athletes in the future,” she said.

Danielle is responsible for evaluating, creating recovery plans for and documenting the health concerns and injuries of dancers in the Houston Ballet. She is also responsible for reading, reviewing and researching.

“The experience allows me to work with people who have already figured out the differences in movement and techniques that are important when working in this population. Because of that, I am not only able to use the knowledge I learned in the classroom at Southeast but also to apply it in a different way to athletes who have different motions being asked of them,” she said.

When Danielle reminisces about her best times at the University, she thinks about laughing with her fellow athletic training education program students at the thought of someone videotaping her HL321 class, “Advanced Injury Assessment I.”

“Practicing evaluation skills can look pretty crazy,” she said.

She also fondly remembers study sessions in Parker lasting until early mornings and working at sporting events with other athletic training majors who, according to Danielle, have become more like family than classmates.

“My time in athletic training education program has allowed me to see my education as something different than what I thought it would be,” she said. “I now know that the only way I get something out of a class is by putting a lot of work into it. I have also learned how to build professional relationships with professors and administrators. Because Southeast is so far from home, I was able to gain a lot of independence. I have better learned how to deal with people and problems in different ways to achieve a solution that is something I can live with.”

While in Cape Girardeau, Danielle lays by the pool in the summer, goes to the fair and eats with friends at El Torero in the fall, walks to class in a light jacket in the winter, because in her hometown of Verona, Wis., that would never happen, and runs and grills out with friends in the spring. She also sunbathes, reads and bakes.

Danielle attends conferences regularly to network with other individuals in the health field. She said the most interesting conference experience she had was at iLead Charter School, a school of innovation and technology that focuses on leadership, entrepreneurship and academic discovery, in Washington, D.C. There, she participated in a speed interview in which participants practiced interview questions and received feedback from the interviewer and the other students in the group.

“The best part about it was seeing former classmates and meeting different students. It is great to hear what different programs have to offer and connect with people who are going through a similar program,” she said.

Danielle spends the rest of her free time volunteering. She ran a food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank for three years, which resulted in the highest single collection each time. She also volunteered as a first responder for multiple runs and for a wrestling tournament. The biggest charitable project she participated in was a run put on by her student organization, the Student Trainers’ Association, called the Almost Naked Mile. A fellow classmate and Danielle organized and directed the run, and about 25 boxes of clothes were donated to Goodwill Industries International and The Women’s Safe House as a result of the project.

Danielle also travels when she gets the chance. She especially enjoyed her recent visit to Mexico, because she went with her family. After she graduates, she plans to go to Europe and tour multiple countries before finding a job or starting graduate school. She is considering graduate programs at Texas Woman’s University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Florida.

Danielle encourages future Southeast students, “Get to know your professors. Also, meet as many people as you can, because you never know who are going to be your support system and partners in crime four years from when you move in.”