Dietrich Wagner

Dietrich Wagner
Major/Job Title:
Athletic Training and Rehabilitation Studies, BA
Altoona, Iowa
Class Year:
Fall 2022

Dietrich Wagner

How did you decide on your path of study?
In high school, I had two concussions and a hip injury, so I had to see the athletic trainer at my school a lot. Both of my parents are health providers so I liked the idea of following in their footsteps and going into something medical. After being in the training room a lot in high school, I started asking questions and decided I really liked the route of becoming an athletic trainer. Also, in one of my classes in high school, we had to research what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go to college.

Why did you choose to pursue this degree at UNI?
Because I have had a lot of family friends go to UNI, and they have told me they had a really good experience. Also, when I went on my visit, UNI was the only college that actually showed me around the hydrotherapy pool and athletic training rooms. That sold me on the idea of coming to UNI.

What challenges have you faced as you've worked toward this degree – and how have you overcome them?
Time management has been the biggest struggle because I have a job outside of being a student and still like to have free time for things such as working out. But the degree requires a lot, including a clinical, which can be time-consuming. I also spend a lot of time practicing to make sure I get the techniques down so I can improve and better understand certain treatments.

What’s been your favorite memory at UNI?
Meeting new people and gaining new experiences. 

How has UNI helped you achieve your goals?
The professors at UNI are very helpful. I have reached out several times, and they have always given me good answers. I know I am only an undergrad student, but I am always eager to get ahead on things, so I often email my professors asking questions, and they provide me the right resources to help.

How has your experience at UNI shaped you?
My experience at UNI has shaped me by helping me mature and getting me outside of my comfort zone. Firstly, going to UNI allowed me to live by myself for the first time; this forced me to figure many things out on my own and made me a more mature and independent person. Secondly, at UNI, I've been able to try new activities and meet new people. So, I've really learned how to put myself out there and connect with people in a new way. 

What advice would you give to students considering UNI?
For any student considering UNI, I would take the opportunity because they have a lot to offer and provide you with the help you need. For one, they have a clinical experience class where you actually get to go out into the field and experience what an athletic trainer does on a daily basis. This experience is helpful because you get to meet many other athletic trainers, which can mean new connections and new opportunities. Also, the experiences are not just with athletic trainers but also physical therapists and chiropractors. Clinicals allow you to see how what you are learning in the classroom can be applied outside of the classroom. So, you can expand your learning and be better prepared for classes you will be taking later in college.

What do you plan to do with your degree? Or, if you are graduating, do you already know your next steps?
I plan to get my master's in athletic training and get a job out of college and see where it takes me. Hopefully one day I will teach at the college level.