Penn State Smeal MBA student unites community with fitness

April 28, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — When Penn State students were faced with the unprecedented challenge of remote learning for the remainder of the semester in response to COVID-19, Orlando Acevedo saw an opportunity to connect his community with one of his passions: fitness.

The MBA candidate from the Penn State Smeal College of Business invited his peers and community to participate in a nine-week fitness challenge. A week or so later, 32 fellow MBA students and a faculty member had all joined in.

“Fitness is a big part of my life, and I love working out in general,” Acevedo said. “It’s one of the activities that always boosts my mood, and I feel better because of it.

“I figured that doing the challenge with others in the MBA program would be a good way to bond while de-stressing from all of the COVID transitions in lifestyle,” he added.

The challenge, a nine-week program using high intensity training videos, has allowed each participant to work toward personal fitness goals while keeping the social aspect of the program alive through virtual interactions. 

Many participants text the group daily to let others know when they have completed their workout. They have created a forum where they motivate each other, share recipes for healthy meals and ask fitness-related questions. 

Acevedo said he finds it rewarding to see the personal growth and sense of accomplishment from his peers on a daily basis from completing the challenge, especially during this time of social distancing.

“The challenge just adds to the sense of community that we have despite our distances,” he said. “I love the fact that it’s a really challenging workout that kicks your butt, yet we all enjoy doing it and ‘commiserate’ together about its difficulty.”

The Penn State Smeal MBA program is currently accepting applications from prospective students through June 1. For more information about the full-time residential program at University Park, visit the website.

  • Orlando Acevedo sitting outside

    Orlando Acevedo, an MBA candidate from the Penn State Smeal College of Business, organized a 9-week fitness challenge to unite his community amid COVID-19 cancellations.

    IMAGE: Orlando Acevedo

(Media Contacts)

Penn State Smeal Professional Graduate Programs

Work Phone: 
Last Updated May 04, 2020