Karla Girimonte

Major: Kinesiology – Physical Education
Hometown: Colusa, CA
Class: Senior
Program Position: Fitness Staff Lead | WREC

How did you first get connected with your AS position?
I volunteered at the WREC through my major. I wanted experience in coordinating recreation activities. I helped with events like the All Around Athlete and Strong Cat. It got my name out there. Then when a job at the WREC became available, I had the experience that helped me land the job. Last year I assisted with those two events and this year I was hired to coordinate the events. I love event planning. I like to be the “behind the scenes” person.

How would you describe your current role with the Associated Students?
Initially I was hired as fitness staff and after one semester I was promoted to lead fitness staff. There are approximately 20 fitness staff and three leads. As a lead I hire and train new fitness staff. I love training folks and getting them excited about the facility and their job. I also do scheduling and ensure that policies are followed and all safety measures are monitored. I designed a cleaning schedule where we divide the facility into 8 zones. Each fitness staff is responsible for a particular zone and certain tasks (cleaning equipment, cleaning mats, etc.) must be completed and signed off on by the end of their shift. The built-in accountability makes everything run super smoothly. And I get to use passion for my event planning by coordinating WREC hosted events like All Around Athlete and Strong Cat.

What does working for the WREC do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
This is great experience for me and fits my major and personal philosophy of being healthy and active for a lifetime. I love my job because the staff is so friendly and the facility is so impressive! Plus, the AS is great about working around my schedule. That flexibility is essential because I have three other jobs! Two jobs are on campus. I’m an ASL interpreter and I’m a teaching assistant for a Kinesiology professor, and on weekends I have a waitressing job at home in Colusa. Professionally, my job is a great networking tool. It really helps build my options and opens up other possibilities.

What do YOU bring to the table in your position as a lead fitness staff?
I’m a great organizer and a natural leader. I think I relate well to people thanks to all my customer service experience. I’m a go-getter and always willing to step up. I try to make my job as efficient as possible, and I have really good relationships with other fitness staff. I feel they respect me.

What are your career plans & how does your job with the AS better prepare you for that path?
My dream job would be to teach physical education abroad because I LOVE to travel. Or, I’d love to teach P.E. in a deaf/hard of hearing school since my academic focus is on adaptive physical education. And then there’s always teaching dance in a college setting – lots of possibilities. Working at the WREC opens up career opportunities I never thought I had after I graduate.