BABE 98: AMY KENNELLY, Fellowship Program Coordinator @ Mayo Clinic + NFL Cheerleader @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Amy is the definition of a BWH. As someone who knows both the world of dance/cheer and the demands of a full-time job with a Side Hustle pretty well, I can't quite fathom how Amy keeps a happy, healthy and successful balance between her work. It takes a whole lot of grit + dedication to juggle the opposite lifestyles and work loads that she does, and we're really dang honored she took the time to tell us a little more about them. Thanks so much for chatting with us, Amy! You are certainly a Babe.
Hometown: Jacksonville Beach, FL
Current city: Jacksonville Beach, FL
Alma mater: University of North Florida
Degree: B.S., Healthcare Business Administration
Very first job: Front desk @ Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex
Hustle: Fellowship Program Coordinator - Gastroenterology, Liver Transplant, Kidney Transplant, Nephrology and Advanced Endoscopy @ Mayo Clinic // NFL Cheerleader @ Jacksonville Jaguars
How do you spend your free time?
I love being on the water. Whether it's fishing or just cruising on the boat. I grew up spending time on the ICW with my friends, and I wouldn't say much has changed.
Go-to adult beverage?
Champagne or tequila.
What would you eat for your very last meal?
Seared tuna, my absolute favorite.
Biggest pet peeve?
“Saturdays are for the boys."
Favorite social media account to follow?
Probably one of the ten Seinfeld meme accounts that I follow.
Abercrombie & Fitch jean shorts.
What’s something most don't know about you?
I am actually a redhead!
Tell us about your hustle:
I graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in Healthcare Business Administration and started my journey with Mayo Clinic in 2013 as a Business Intern. Today, I supervise Mayo's Gastroenterology, Nephrology, Advanced Endoscopy, Kidney Transplant and Liver Transplant Fellowships. I work directly with the physician directors, fellows and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to ensure that the doctors studying here all graduate with their required milestones for accreditation. Another huge part of my job is recruiting residency and fellowship applicants. Throughout the academic year, I'll typically interview 100 applicants for our six spots. At the end of the interview season, all teaching hospitals in the U.S. will enter their preferred rank list into the National Residency Matching Program. This year, all of my programs matched their number 1 rank choice! I also just started my 3rd season with the Roar of the Jaguars. I grew up cheerleading here in Jacksonville, so being a ROAR cheerleader has always been a dream of mine. We typically practice 2-3 times during the week, plus Sunday games during football season, of course.
What does your typical workday look like?
The average weekday of work and cheer usually runs from 7:00am-11:00pm, and lunch and dinner are usually on-the-go. I leave work around 5:00pm, grab something to eat, change then head to the stadium for 6:45 practice.
When and how did you get into Medical Education Coordinating?
As an intern at Mayo in business, I had no interest in medical education. I honestly didn't know much about it, and it certainly wasn't mentioned in my college curriculum as a possible career path within healthcare administration. However, I was placed on a few projects in the department I'm in now, and immediately fell in love with it. The rest is history!
What was the application and interview process like for your current role?
The interview process with Mayo took about four months. I went through two panel interviews and four one-on-one interviews. The interview process was intense and exhausting. As for cheerleading, I usually begin prepping for ROAR auditions right when football season ends. I take audition prep classes up until auditions are held in April, and the audition process takes about two weeks. Preliminary and semifinal cuts are made the first week, the second week includes a final and talent portion, and the team is announced the following week.
What is your work environment and office culture like?
Amazing! Mayo Clinic has a very diverse and open-minded culture, and strives to keep a positive and healthy work environment for everyone. It has surpassed my expectations so far, and I could not ask for a better team to work with and company to work for.
Would you say there is anything from your educational or professional background that specifically prepared you for the role you’re in now?
I would definitely say that my former internship gave me a leg up over the other applicants. As an intern, every day was a job interview, and I made each day count!
How do you transition between two very different hustles and schedules?
Going from a suit and heels to boots and poms is quite the transition. There are days when my brain is mush after conducting meetings and writing policies, etc. Just when I think I can't handle much more information, I have three hours of learning choreography left in my day. Getting an adequate amount of sleep and eating a well-balanced diet keeps me from crashing. It sounds cliche, but it has a huge impact on my stamina. Also, don't forget to take time for yourself. I love a good wine night with my girls!
Have you received any discouragement for pursuing cheerleading?
My coworkers, family and friends have always been my number one support system. Whether through finding work coverage for a week off to shoot a swimsuit calendar, watching my audition dance for three months straight and giving me tips, or listening to me vent about how tired I am, I have nothing but support from them. I do miss a lot of friends' weddings, birthday dinner and parties due to my busy schedule, and I often have a lot of guilt for missing out.
What’s your favorite thing about your job(s)?
I love that I work on an academic timeline. Every June, a class of doctors graduate and every July, a new class begins. Each month I am preparing for something different, and I won't repeat the same project again until the following year. In terms of the Jags, cheering for my hometown team and being involved in my community is what it's all about. Performing at Wembley Stadium in London in front of 80,000 fans is also pretty great.
What’s next for you?
My Master's! I am itching to get back into school. I have no time left in my current schedule, but an MBA is on my to-do list.
What motivates and inspires you?
My biggest motivation is loss. I think it's super important to take constructive criticism and learn from feedback. I didn't make the ROAR the first time I auditioned. I won't sugar coat it - I worked my butt off in dance classes for a year after that. The following year, I made the team and was awarded the “Rookie Outstanding Work Ethic Award.” Today, I actually just got word that I was voted Void Magazine's #1 Jaguar Cheerleader in the 904. I am still pretty ecstatic about it if you can't tell. :)
What helps you wind down and manage stress?
I have a really solid girl squad that keeps me grounded. I couldn't ask for a better crew to work hard and play hard with.
What are some notable experiences you’ve had on the job?
Overheating at a game wasn't fun. Everbank gets into the 100s during the summer, and the humidity is no joke. Last year it was so hot that the glue on the soles of our boots melted off.
Career and/or life advice for other babes?
Coincidentally, my ten year high school reunion is this weekend. It made me realize how fast time really does fly by - it's just so important to do what makes you happy.
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