Graduation Year: Rutgers University Class of 2018
Major: Exercise Science and Sport Studies
Graduate School: Rutgers University DPT Blackwood - South Program, Class of 2021
When/what made you want to become a Physical Therapist?
I felt the first pull in my lower back when I was in high school from pitching in softball. Two years later I finally ended up in physical therapy after I had trouble just standing and walking. I had the best experience with my therapists and after 6 months as a patient, I knew this was the field for me.
What specifically about the Rutgers DPT program appealed to you?
Rutgers University has great academics and connections. There are over 400 different clinical affiliations to choose from, which provides more choices. The name appealed to me as well. I did my undergraduate education at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and I wanted to continue my education at Rutgers.
What kind of experiences or activities did you have in the field of Physical Therapy during your undergraduate education? (Internships, volunteer experiences, etc.)
I shadowed at two outpatient clinics then got a job as a physical therapy aide. I have been working at a certain office as an aide for over a year now and that experience definitely helped. I was able to ask any question I had. I interned at a subacute facility to see a different side of physical therapy.
Did you have a favorite class or professor within your major?
My favorite class was Anatomy and my favorite professor was Dr. Nicole Nagle.
How do you feel your major and classes at Rutgers University prepared you for graduate study in the DPT program?
Exercise Science and Sport Studies is a challenging major. The classes at Rutgers University are more rigorous than other schools and I know this because I began my college career elsewhere. Students need to prove themselves in the classroom and show they really are dedicated to this field. The major showed me how to persevere and work hard, and not to give up. Hard work will be needed in physical therapy school for sure and the pre-requisites at Rutgers University showed me what hard work and determination are really about.
If you could give advice to undergraduate students following a pre-physical therapy path, what would it be?
I would tell them to think for themselves, study hard, and get as much experience as possible. There will always be people in your life who will try and take you off your path and say “Don’t study tonight. Let’s hang out instead.” If you need to get work done, get it done. If you really want to reach your goal, don’t let anyone persuade you to do otherwise. Don’t get discouraged. Keep pushing. Students should study and learn as much as they can. Strive to do well in every class you take. Lastly, get as much experience possible. Volunteer at different clinics. The more you see about the field, the more you will understand it and see if it is the right career path