Graduated Griffins: Kevin Dineen ’05

By Nathan Ress

Assistant Features Editor

Kevin Dineen is a Canisius College graduate of the class of 2005, as well as a self-made success story. He is currently a small business owner and operator, growing his New York City based personal fitness studio, Structure Personal Fitness.

Dineen came to Canisius seeking an athletic science degree in 2001, and found himself in the Sports Medicine program. This program proved to be a change from what he originally expected, but it was a program that he stuck with and excelled in. He knew he wanted to assist athletes in some way, and found his niche as a trainer in the Canisius College athletics department.

During his time at Canisius, Dineen spent significant time working for various sports teams, including the Canisius hockey and baseball team. During this time he assisted in the physical training and therapy of the athletes. He would assist on the sidelines during games, seeing to players immediate needs, as well as during practice and training sessions where he would assist athletes with their physical regimens.

Furthermore, Dineen worked through an internship with the UB Bulls football team, doing similar work. These positions proved to be a crucial and effective part of Dineen’s Canisius experience. “They were a big part of my development,” said Dineen. Through this work he was able to get hands-on, relevant, and practical work experience that would assist him moving forward.

Like all interns, he learned the ropes of his trade, honing his skill as a personal trainer. He developed the drive and work ethic that continues to fuel his work today. It was an environment in which he was able to push those around him to their fullest potential while simultaneously working towards his own goals. He looks back on his experiences as a Canisius College personal trainer with fond affection, a formative and enjoyable experience.

After Canisius, Dineen moved to New York City and began work as a trainer at Equinox, a large gym. He worked for four years, continuing to grow and learn as a trainer, bettering both himself and his clients daily.

In 2010 Dineen decided to move on and begin his own career as a business owner. He took a leap and began his own business, Structure Personal Fitness Studio in New York City. Since beginning the business it has become the focus of his life, a project of passion as much as business. This experience has proved to be something of an adventure for Dineen as he adapts to daily challenges and grows the company. “My degree is not in business,” says Dineen, “but I’m in business.” He does not see this as a hindrance, instead seeing it as an opportunity to grow and prosper as an individual and business owner. He is “everyday trying to figure something out,” as he encounters and solves problems, overcomes barriers, or breaks new ground.

In New York he has come across many individuals who are willing to help him succeed and offer their advice. He notes that these mentors “respect hustle,” and the entrepreneurial spirit that Dineen exudes. As an individual and business owner, he is “trying to get one percent better every day,” working towards improving his business, himself, and his trainees. Dineen has set a goal for himself of being the owner and operator of 100 Structure Personal Fitness locations, a goal he keeps in sight and works towards every day, displaying a drive that is unmatched by many.

This driven attitude is something that Dineen picked up through his time at Canisius College. He recalls professors who would push students constantly to succeed. Often the professors forced students out of their comfort zone or to push themselves towards goals they had thought impossible. The professors could be aggressive and pushy, but Dineen acknowledges that they were so in order to motivate and inspire students. This strategy worked perfectly for Dineen, developing his character and making him the man he is today.

Dineen also admires the character of the well-rounded student, something that he came to know in his time at Canisius. The education he received helped him “develop a different worldview.” This broad education helped him connect with those around him and empathize more completely, a skill that is very handy in a place as diverse as New York. Quite simply, to Dineen this boils down to a sense of respect for the people he meets and trains. He is able to see each person as an individual, fostering the best in them as well as learning from them.

The connections he made at Canisius have also stuck with Dineen alongside the life lessons. He has made lasting friendships with individuals he is still in contact with and some of whom live in the city also. He sees certain individuals frequently, spending free time with them and allowing their relationships to develop as they grow as people. He has even invited several to be a part of his upcoming wedding.

Dineen is a self-made business man, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots at Canisius College. For current students, he wishes to inspire confidence and an equally ambitious attitude. He advises, “Be confident in your ability that you can always do more than what you are doing.” This is a message that Dineen himself has learned, and follows on a daily basis in business, and in life. It is something that can apply to almost any aspect of one’s life, from doing extra reps in the gym, to going the extra mile in class, or branching out in a student organization or academic scene. Dineen acknowledges that it can be difficult and scary to push one’s self beyond what they believe they are capable of, but he urges students to have the confidence and perseverance required to know they will succeed. Put quite simply, “it’s about not settling” for anything less than what you are capable of, said Dineen.

Dineen also encourages students to read and write every day. The writing can be as simple as creating lists of goals or writing down thoughts, as long as it keeps one sharp and focused. This practice will allow a student to be more in touch and honest with his/her self. Furthermore, he encourages reading to “embrace a continuous education.” Through literature he sees a process of perpetual self-discovery, something invaluable to every individual throughout their entire life.

Through his own perseverance Dineen serves as an example of the success that can be achieved if one has the courage to be driven and stick to their principles. He continues to live in New York and better both himself and his business daily.

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