Student Athlete Learns Business Side of Practice During Internship

Nia Joiner ’16 interned at the Bloomington-Normal Spine Clinic.

Aug. 6, 2015 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— As a student athlete competing in track and field, Netherland Nia Joiner ’16 (Lombard, Ill.) is familiar with chiropractic treatments from the patient’s perspective.

Her internship this summer at the Bloomington-Normal Spine Clinic has helped her understand the business side of a chiropractic practice. At Illinois Wesleyan, Joiner is majoring in psychology. She plans to enter chiropractic school after graduation from IWU in May 2016.

Joiner had worked to secure such an internship since her first year at Illinois Wesleyan. Guided by former Hart Career Center counselor Robyn Walter (now International Student and Scholar Advisor), Joiner sought experiences that would make her a good candidate for an internship. Walter also aided Joiner in navigating Titan CareerLink, the University’s database of job and internship opportunities.

Joiner said her biology and psychology courses at IWU have prepared her well for the internship. “Knowing the different muscles and other parts of the anatomy has really been an asset,” she said. Joiner said her study abroad experience to Copenhagen, Denmark, also provided her with perspectives on how to communicate with people from many different backgrounds.

The most extensive preparation, however, is Joiner’s own experience as a chiropractic patient. A standout athlete at Glenbard East High School, where she holds the school record in the long jump and 100-meters, Joiner suffered seven hairline fractures in her pelvis and a deep contusion in her lower right leg during a car accident in her senior year of high school. It was nearly six months before she could jog again, but Joiner went on to win the NCAA Division III national championship in the indoor 60-meter dash in 2014.

“My own personal experiences about how chiropractic has worked in my track career and in my life makes it much easier to talk with the patients I’m working with,” she said.

In her position at the Spine Clinic, Joiner assists patients with various therapies including ultrasound, spinal molding exercises and microstimulation. She’s also had the opportunity to represent the clinic at public events such as health fairs and street festivals.

In addition to running track and field, Joiner is a Titan Orientation Leader and member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Death Resurrection Life, Circle K, Black Student Union and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

Joiner is one of the more than 200 Illinois Wesleyan students interning at locations around the globe this summer. Illinois Wesleyan students increasingly participate in internship opportunities; the most recent data shows more than 70 percent of the Class of 2014 participated in at least one internship, and over half of these students completed more than one.