Athletic Training Student Gets a Leg Up

Campbell athletic training student lands internship in NYC with the Rockettes

Courtesy of the Rockettes

Dealing with football players and wrestlers is one thing, but Campbell University athletic training student Candice Shultz is about to face her biggest challenge yet. The Rockettes.

Shultz, an Oklahoma native scheduled to graduate this fall, was recently chosen as one of the lucky few who’ll get to spend an internship in New York City working at Radio City Music Hall with the world-famous Rockettes. Shultz is assisting the athletic training department through to Jan. 9 in its day-to-day operations and in the process, will deal with a different type of athlete at the top of their profession. She’s set to graduate in December.

Campbell University athletic trainer Candice Shultz

“I’m excited,” said Shultz, whose time in New York will coincide with her husband’s Air Force deployment in Afghanistan. “I want to be a certified athletic trainer, and while this isn’t in my element, it’s going to be valuable experience.”

Shultz’ internship will lead up to and through the Rockettes’ annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular, a show seen by two million people each year. She and the other athletic training staff are assigned the task of keeping the dancers healthy and injury-free through thousands of high kicks and jump splits in rehearsals and performances.

It will be a completely different experience from the work Shultz has grown accustomed to at Campbell. Her desire for a career in athletic training spawned from growing up a big Oklahoma Sooners football fan, and Shultz said she feels at home working the sidelines at practices and during games for the Camel football team, which she continued to do until her internship began on Sept. 25.

And while her work in New York won’t be completely different — she’s helping maintain injury logs, file medication information, evaluate injuries, assist in creating conditioning programs, supervise practices and take part in daily pre-routine treatments, among other things — the athlete Shultz will work with is much different.

“While this isn’t in my element, it’s going to be a valuable experience.”

Candice Shultz

“For one, their mentality is different than a collegiate athlete,” she said. “If a player gets hurt in practice, he has to sit. Dancers, though, they have to work through the pain for the most part. They will refuse to come off the stage … they can’t miss that closing curtain. It’s a different breed.”

That a Campbell athletic training student has been tapped to intern this fall is a big achievement, according to Athletic Training Education Program Director Catherine Simonson, who called herself a “ridiculously proud parent” after hearing the news.

“It’s a coveted internship,” Simonson said, “one that’s the result of two years of networking and interviews. Candice has brought so much maturity and passion to the program, that I’m not surprised she got it. It will be a tough job, but so rewarding.”

— Billy Liggett, Assistant Director for Publications