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STLCC Alum Offers Advice for Career Success

October 01, 2015

Ryan Bader  
Ryan Bader

Like a lot of his peers, Ryan Bader graduated from high school unsure of what he wanted to do. He enjoyed sports and excelled in science, so he wanted to pursue a career that would enable him to blend the two. 

Bader enrolled at St. Louis Community College in 2003. In addition to taking general education courses, he sampled a variety of science courses in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. He enjoyed the material and the opportunities to engage in conversations with his classmates and professors. 

“Classes are a great place to bounce ideas off of each other and expand your thinking,” Bader said. “From communication skills to computer software essentials, STLCC provided me with a foundation for future success.”

When he wasn’t in class, Bader spent his free time at work and at the gym. In fact, he ended up spending so much time at the gym that he decided to pursue his personal training certification through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. When he completed the certification, he was offered a job at the Jewish Community Center (The J) in Creve Coeur.

“It’s rewarding to work as a personal trainer because you get to help people achieve their fitness goals,” Bader said. 

After exceling as a trainer at The J, Bader was promoted to assistant fitness manager. He served in this role for more than four years before moving to Denver, Colo., to pursue another opportunity. 

A year later, he applied and was hired by The J in Denver to work as a personal trainer. Once again, he proved himself in this role. He also earned a promotion to group exercise coordinator after he earned the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s corrective exercise specialist certification.

Although he enjoyed living and working in Denver, his recently returned to St. Louis with his wife and children so they could be closer to family. Bader is the corporate partnership manager for The J in Chesterfield and Creve Coeur. He is responsible for strengthening The J’s connection to the community by developing wellness programs for new and existing corporate partners.

“The J is a great company to work for. The people are supportive, the jobs are challenging, and there are opportunities for professional growth.” Bader said. “The J takes care of its employees, and I’m excited to once again have the opportunity to be a part of this organization.”

Looking back on his experience, Bader attributes his success to hard work and the connections he has made. 

“While the relationships I’ve built with my colleagues have helped me progress in my career, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have the drive to succeed and the initiative to follow through,” he said. “If you’re just starting out in your career, you need to choose an area that interests you, learn all that you can about it, and find ways to apply what you learn. If you do this, and you work hard, you will succeed.”