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How I Spent My Summer – Alex Feldstein at Google

How I Spent My Summer – Alex Feldstein at Google

Last summer, exercise science and health promotion major Alex Feldstein joined the corporate world in Silicon Valley for an enviable internship at Google.

Feldstein learned about the internship through a friend of his father.

“After doing some investigating it turned out that this internship aligned my interests quite perfectly,” he said.

The internship was officially for a company called EXOS, which is known for athlete prepping programs for the NFL, MLS, and other professional sports. According to Feldstein, the company is branching out into corporate wellness, and that’s where Google comes in.

Associate Professor Kim Fischer helped Feldstein tailor his resume to the specific internship, and he applied.

“The process itself is just like any interviewing process, answering questions relevant to the field and the position. After the interviews they decide which site you are a good fit for. I had one phone interview, and two video calls with a total of three different interviewers,” Feldstein said. “It turned out that I was a good fit for the Google account.”

Google has 18 gyms available to employees, and interns work on a rotation, spending four weeks at one gym.

“My first gym was at Rails. This gym was geared towards Crossfit and Olympic lifts,” he said. “It was specifically created under the request from one of the founders of Google. His main request was to leave all things electric out of his gym, which made it more of an old school classic gym.”

He performed basic facility management duties, as well as learning and implementing the EXOS methodology.

“As performance specialist interns, our job was so shadow the coaches and, as we became comfortable with the format, lead parts of the class. Class sizes can range from as little as 3 people to as many as 40.

“After the third week at Rails, my manager told me that I would be getting a side project. My role would be to manage a new ‘unstaffed facility,’ which means a gym that will not be staffed 24/7. My job for the five weeks I was there was to get people engaged in the new facility, get them familiar with badging in to the kiosk and educating them on how to use the equipment,” he said.

“This site was the highlight of my internship. This space was designed for regeneration or recovery. I was educating people on what muscle groups were used, why form is so important, why recovery days are so important — it was like teaching the basics of anatomy as well as strength and conditioning. What made this so much fun was seeing the community that formed as a result of the gym.”

Feldstein finished his internship at a gym called Shorebird. He spent four hours with health promotion and four hours instructing classes. The goal of health promotion is to get people involved by creating events that appeal to populations that may not want to go to the gym or eat healthy.

As for the famous perks of working at Google, he said, it’s even better than they make it seem online or in the movies.

Feldstein felt prepared for his work at Google thanks to Otterbein.

“Every single class that I have taken has helped me build a set of skills that allowed me to contribute to the workplace. When I found myself applying such a large majority of what I learned from classes to my career it was satisfying to see the classwork have an effect in the real world. Education should never be taken for granted. What we learn in the classroom is invaluable information, but what makes the difference is connecting what we learn to real world problems,” he said.

He also returned to campus with some new insights about his education and future goals.

“The most important thing I learned was that nothing can replace human connection,” he said. “It’s not about getting along with everyone as long as you respect everyone. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and be uncomfortable. It’s how we adapt in those situations that can make us grow both socially and intellectually.”

Feldstein is excited and prepared to face any future challenges. He wants to work with communities that do not have the resources or education to live a healthy lifestyle. He plans on attending graduate school for a master’s degree in public health and a specialization in social science, with ultimate goals of working with a non-profit that creates or delivers a ‘how to guide’ for eating well, exercise and managing stress.

Learn more about the exercise science and health promotion program at Otterbein.