Loyola graduate leads her own fitness program

Mark Robinson

Since she was a young girl, Megan Byas always thought that she would study political science and go into law. But during her sophomore year at Loyola, she made a change.

The Loyola alum graduated with a degree in marketing and is now operating her own fitness program through the Student Involvement Center. For Byas, her love for fitness and health all started when she started working out at the University Sports Complex.

“Working in the sports complex just kind of puts you in that mindset. Over time, I felt like I was missing something extra other than playing basketball to stay in shape. I took up working out one summer and fell in love with it,” Byas said.

After graduating from Loyola, Byas looked for ways in which she could use her degree to get a job. When the opportunity came for her to run her own fitness program, she took full advantage.

“It all kind of fell into place. Originally, the job wasn’t there. I had tried to get a job in marketing, but it didn’t work out. I had graduated and they needed a student to fill the position. My focus in fitness and wellness put me in position to be the best candidate,” Byas said.

Mark Bush, assistant director of the sports complex, said that the position is something that was needed and essential to the future growth of the complex.

“With our Student Leadership Program, we are looking to hire a student leader for every facet of the department. We were looking for someone with experience in group exercise and wellness and she fit the bill,” Bush said.

Bush also said that he often encourages students to use this as a stepping stone in order to gain experience in a working environment.

“Whether it’s hiring a student to work concession or be the building manager, we all play a part in developing a student to be a student leader,”Bush said.

Byas’ program trains students, faculty and many other patrons in the New Orleans community. Some of these patrons include professors who are looking to lead a healthy lifestyle.

One member of the Loyola community reaping the benefits of working with Byas’ program is Cathy Rogers, mass communication professor.

“She pushes me and understands my fitness goals. She appreciates the fact that my fitness goals are not the same as an undergraduate’s. She makes me work hard and hours are very flexible,” Rogers said.

Rogers is also impressed with the fact that Megan Byas is in charge of her own fitness program right out of college. According to Rogers, it gives encouragement to other undergraduates seeking jobs in their desired field.

“Combining your personal interest with your professional interest is a great idea. Students at Loyola tend to have that entrepreneur mindset. If students can make that happen, I think that they should go for it,” Rogers said.

Byas is also aware that her situation is an example that it is possible for anyone to make a career of anything they are passionate about.

“It’s all about going and getting what you want. If you want to be a great musician, go and put yourself in the music industry. You have to immerse yourself in what it is you are trying to get. You can always leave a situation and start fresh and make your own history,” Byas said.