Menu button
Home » Mobile, Students & Alumni

NECC Leads to Fitness Career for NH Mom

Submitted by on October 25, 2019 – 2:54 pm
Amy Jacobs stands in the NECC Fitness Center surrounded by equipment.

Amy Jacobs returned to NECC after many years to earn an associate degree. Now she works as a personal trainer in a gym.

“Mom, did you go to college?” It was a question Amy Jacobs’ kids would ask her. “Yes,” she would tell them, as she did start out at NECC after high school in the 90s. Back then, she didn’t really have a clear career direction, and she dropped out. She never lost her drive to earn her degree, though, and one day when she was driving by Northern Essex, she thought about that question and her kids, and pulled in to NECC and registered on the spot.

Returning to college as an adult, Jacobs knew she was interested in exercise science. She chose Northern Essex because it was convenient and fit into her schedule. She also knew it wouldn’t just be students right out of high school.  “There were other people my age. Everybody was so friendly, and it is an easy campus to find your way around. Also, the schedule was great. Over the years I took both day and evening classes,” she says.

She credits NECC for helping her earn her personal training certification. “They definitely prepared me for the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) Certified Personal Trainer. I think I would have had a hard time taking that. Also, I was able to work as an intern and train people and teach classes here at NECC. Being at the gym I got to see a lot of the team sports and I was able to interact with the students. I loved it,” she adds. Jacobs now works at a gym in Salem New Hampshire as a personal trainer and exercise class instructor.

“I pretty much had my job right away. I was working out at my gym, and when they knew I was going to school to be a personal trainer, they asked me if I wanted to work there when I was done. I’m happy doing what I’m doing, happy to know that I am helping people. It’s definitely hard going back to school as an adult, but if you are going to do it, Northern Essex is a great place to go. The teachers were excellent and I feel I could now reach out to them if I needed to and they’d be there to help me.”

Jacobs graduated with a degree in general studies movement science in 2018 – the same year her oldest son graduated from high school. Her family, including her husband and her three kids, were there to cheer her on. “For them to be able to watch me graduate was really great,” she says.

To learn more about Northern Essex’s associate degree in exercise science (the program name has changed), visit the website or contact Scott Mcenelly, exercise science program coordinator, 978 655-3823 or