Brandon Nelson ’19 chose Shenandoah because he wanted to pursue a Master of Science in athletic training (MSAT) and knew the university’s MSAT program was top-notch. Even though he attended Shenandoah for athletic training, he enjoyed the university as a whole and had a great experience.
“It is a small university with great history and a small, friendly community that is like a little family,” said Nelson. “I can’t imagine going anywhere else to get my degree.”
Nelson’s fondest memory of Shenandoah is participating in the annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® in Winchester. He also enjoyed working with the university’s sports teams as well as the high school sports teams in the surrounding area.
Nelson is an assistant athletic trainer for Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden Sydney, Virginia. In this position, he provides healthcare to approximately 500 student athletes, which includes day-to-day coverage for multiple teams doing rehabilitation, general medical care, being a first responder to injuries, and taking care of administrative duties.
The most rewarding part of Nelson’s job is building relationships with the student athletes and watching them grow not only as people, but as athletes. “One of the best parts of my job is being able to help people,” said Nelson “I have a strong passion for caring for people and love sports, so by combining the two, Athletic Training is where I am supposed to be!”
Nelson believes he wouldn’t be as prepared nor successful in his career if it wasn’t for the education he received at Shenandoah. Although he had some struggles in the program, it shaped him into the athletic trainer he is today.
Nelson’s advice to students is: “You know, it’s going to be difficult, but it will be okay. Just take one day at a time and grow to love the grind. You are good enough!! Athletic training is very humbling in the sense that you can know everything by the book and it turns out to be something else. You are not going to know everything and that’s okay.”