Paul Swainson


Since leaving university, Paul has gone on to establish his own fitness consultancy. His involvement in the University Boat Club and other sporting activities played a big part in influencing where he is now.

What did you do at Leeds in addition to your course?

I was a member of the sports and fitness centre (of course!) where I trained 4-5 times per week, and I also rowed for Leeds University Boat Club in both fours and eights. I represented Leeds at the BUSA regatta in 2002 and won the Doncaster Regatta the same year. It was whilst at university that I decided I wanted to become a Personal Trainer.

What skills do you feel you developed as part of your course?

My research skills definitely improved, having had to write numerous reports and essays, and handling your own workload teaches you good time-management. I also feel my verbal communication skills developed as a result of delivering a number of presentations. This is something I have been able to build on since university, as I regularly run training workshops for other fitness professionals.

What skills do you feel you developed outside of the course?

Certainly team work through my membership of the Boat Club – rowing is a sport where everyone literally has to work together or your performance suffers. And of course, meeting hundreds of new people means you get a lot of practice time for your social skills!

What advice would you give to current students when thinking about careers/what they do after University?

Don’t be too scared of not knowing what you want to do, and don’t rush into making a decision. The worst mistake you can make is to go down a certain career path because you feel you have to. Also, take a few months out after university to travel or do a completely different job to your future career
(I worked for a camping company out in Spain). It may be your last chance of extended freedom before the career begins!