Zachary Klint, MS, CEP
Vice President, Client Success | i2i Population Health
- What are your most significant career experiences?
The experiences that stick out first are completing my graduate degree and landing that first job. Three years later I had the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time, and somehow at twenty seven years old, I convinced a group that I was ready to take on coordinating a cardiac rehabilitation program. It will certainly always be a highlight for me to have shared presentation experiences at national meetings with respected mentors and colleagues. Lastly, I’ve been privileged to serve with so many gifted and passionate professionals as a member of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Board of Directors, where I’ve learned so much. Beyond that, there is one special patient. Her story, and our journey together are so close to my heart that I’ll never forget her.
- Why did you choose to or how did you become a cardiac rehabilitation professional?
When I started my undergraduate degree, I was still dreaming of training elite athletes. I highly respect, and in some ways envy, those individuals who have been able to make a career of working with that population. It didn’t take long for me to realize, there was a lot more employment opportunity focused on applying my developing skills with a chronic disease population. Luckily, one of the professors in the exercise physiology program was also the director of the cardiac rehabilitation program. As I neared the end of my undergraduate training, it seemed a natural fit to apply my passion in cardiac rehabilitation. I applied and was accepted to the master’s program at Ohio University. In addition to continuing our exercise physiology study, graduate students in our program were part of the team delivering patient care under the supervision of the director. After completing my student internship, I felt very prepared to be competitive in the market.
- What are the top two or three "best things" about your job?
Number one has to be the people. Walking the journey with individuals after their diagnosis or event, and participating with them as they make difficult changes that lead to improved quality of life. Interacting with a community of professionals who passionately believe that simple medicine like regular physical activity, health nutrition, avoiding tobacco, and managing one’s body weight to name a few are essential to reducing the burden of chronic illness on an individual and population health scale.
- What advice would you have for a student exploring a career in an exercise science profession?
Spend time exploring your career goals and then choose your career wisely. One of the more tangible manifestations related to the absence of a licensure exam for exercise physiology is the significant variability that exists in exercise physiology curriculum. Do your best to learn what you want to do when you’re done, then look for opportunities to prepare you as a professional.