Paul Swainson, Alumni, School of Psychology

Paul Swainson

I am a Research and Development Lead for Future Fit Training. I project manage the development of courses and qualifications for health and fitness professionals. Although the company is based in Fareham on the south coast, I work from home in Wakefield.

After university, I gained a qualification in personal training and began working as a gym instructor. I then became a self-employed personal trainer for a few years and the next step was to teach future fitness professionals. From there I progressed to a senior tutor role and then becoming responsible for course development.

Personal training is obviously about exercise, but it is now widely recognised that psychology and behaviour change are critical elements, so my degree turned out to be especially useful. The research aspects have also served me well in terms of developing courses.

If I could, the advice I would give to myself whilst I was studying would be don't focus solely on your studies at the expense of everything else. You need to balance them with a social life, time for your own health and fitness, and exploring other interests.