Health, exercise, and sport study (HESS) majors have the flexibility to structure their courses in the ways that best support them in their career goals. HESS majors are successful in a huge variety of fields. In this series, our graduates share their stories.
Abby Scully ’21 reflects on her time as a member of the Denison field hockey team, changing up her HESS focus, and the relationships that will last her lifetime.
Most of my favorite moments stemmed from my time with the athletics department as both an athlete and student worker. I worked as a summer athletics intern, a strength and conditioning student worker, and a Denison Sports Network intern — and I played on the varsity field hockey team.
The overarching theme for all of my favorite memories is the relationships I was able to build throughout the department. Those relationships will last a lifetime, and they continue to lead me to defining moments even after graduation.
Why did you choose to major in HESS?
I chose to major in HESS under the assumption I was going to work in sports medicine. After a year or so, I found I enjoyed the major, but I was no longer interested in sports medicine. Regardless, the major provided me with the flexibility to build upon that knowledge. I was able to work directly with my advisor, Professor Bennett, to create a directed study focused on sports business. This major, while it was broad, gave me all the tools necessary to help me determine and develop my path.
What has life been like after graduation?
Life after graduation has been busy—but in a different way than Denison busy. My current role requires a competitive balance and a lack of complacency, all while remaining consistent.
When entering the work force, a good word of advice is to keep the open-minded Denison mentality, so be ready to learn, be ready to build your foundation, and be ready to adapt. Some of my favorite moments revolve around the people I’ve met, relationships I’ve built, and a new sense of independence.
How did your time at Denison prepare you for your current role?
Denison is what you make of it, and the more I poured myself into the school, extra curriculars, classes, jobs, clubs, and organizations, the more I can apply to my current role.
Time management, internal motivation, positive attitude, and autonomous thinking are some of my personal favorite skills, but it doesn’t stop there. My ability to communicate with all types of clients, management, co-workers, etc., may be the skill that has taken me the farthest in my career. This comes from participating in oral communication general education requirements, captaining the varsity field hockey team, and joining countless other social organizations or clubs.
Were there any HESS courses or experiences that been applicable to what you are doing now?
There are many courses I took through HESS that I would love to discuss, but one of my all-time favorite courses at Denison was Therapeutic Modalities—it was one of the most challenging courses I took.
While this course focuses on how to become and embody a true practitioner, it applied to all aspects of being human and joining the workforce. Feeling empathy, understanding how to work with and for others, effectively communicating, actively listening, seeing the bigger picture, and applying your observations were just some of the takeaways I apply to my daily life and career.
I was also able to create a directed study designed for my desired career aspirations, “Introduction to Sports Business,” and to invest my time and energy into studying topics and careers that interested me. The most valuable experience was the final project. I was able to study the impact of TikTok on a professional franchise brand, likeliness, and ability to reach different untouched demographics. I was given the autonomy to explore, create my own experiences — something most students at other schools do not have the opportunity to pursue.
What words of advice would you give current HESS majors?
Invest in the major. Buy in and participate when you can. Ask questions! The more you challenge yourself, your classmates, yourself, the more you can takeaway. You get what you give.