Case study: Neil Schoenhofen uses fitness studies as springboard to personal training career


Neil Schoenhofen spent two years as a student at New College Lanarkshire’s Broadwood Campus, achieving HNC and HND Fitness, Health and Exercise.

Neil, who is from Motherwell, is now employed a Personal Trainer at New Age Fitness, an independent fitness club which has gyms in Hamilton and Coatbridge.

Why did you choose to study at Broadwood Campus?

Being from Cumbernauld originally, I knew the location well and I knew that the venue has a great range of facilities that would help me further my education. I also read reviews online from previous students about the level of teaching and found that it was very high and the lecturers were very welcoming and knowledgeable. Being a mature student, I found that having lecturers that were around the same age as myself helped me feel at home.

How much of what you learned at NCL do you use in your job as a personal trainer?

Every single thing I have learned over the last two years I have needed to call upon to help clients and dispense the correct advice. All of the information I have learned, both practical and written, has been used and I even find myself researching things I didn't know and critiquing other trainers on their technique. The advice and information I have learned has been indispensable.

How much of an influence were your lecturers?

During my time at the campus, every single lecturer made me feel welcome. If I needed help from anyone, I could simply ask and they would advise me on the best way to proceed. For the two years I was at Broadwood Campus, I had David Robb and Alasdair Breton, both of whom have been absolutely amazing. I literally cannot thank them enough for everything they did for me during my time at college. Davie and Ally have guided me towards the correct type of jobs and where I should be looking to go in the future with my career, meaning I was not left wondering what type of job or industry I would be moving into.

What would be your advice to anyone considering applying to study at Broadwood Campus?

It might sound cliché, but just do it. If you have any feelings of dread or worries that you might not be smart enough for the course, then just forget it as I went into the course with only practical knowledge. Don’t worry about your age or fitness level as everyone gets treated the same whether or not you are a 19-year-old footballer or an old bearded man like me! We all helped each other through everything including exams and the practical tests. Just beware of ‘the bat’ when you start the course – just ask any lecturer and they will tell you!

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