Graduation Year: Rutgers University Class of 2016
Major: Exercise Science and Sport Studies
Graduate School: Rutgers University DPT Newark - North Program, Class of 2020
When/what made you want to become a Physical Therapist?
During my senior year of high school, I suffered from a field hockey related injury which made me have to go to physical therapy. Before getting the injury, I had an inkling that I would want to be a PT however after working with my PT and seeing how engaged and dedicated she was to my recovery process, I knew that I would want to go into this field.
What specifically about the Rutgers DPT program appealed to you?
I decided to come to the Rutgers DPT program because when I came for my interview I felt completely at home. The students were easy to talk to, down to earth, and did not try to sugarcoat everything about the program. I got real opinions and felt as if I could fit in and thrive very well in the program.
What kind of experiences or activities did you have in the field of Physical Therapy during your undergraduate education? (Internships, volunteer experiences, etc.)
During my undergraduate education I worked as a PT aid at Saint Peter’s University Hospital and Forsgate Physical Therapy. In addition, I did my internship with Dr. Manfredonia and his home-care practice.
Did you have a favorite class or professor within your major?
My favorite professor within the major was Dr. Nagle. She was one of the few professors whom I felt was able to help me through the process before applying and eventually getting in to PT school. She was there not only in an academic sense but also if I needed any support outside of the classroom. Dr. Nagle also believed that I would be able to make it into a Physical Therapy Program and just that extra boost of confidence was reassuring in a time that was very stressful.
How do you feel your major and classes at Rutgers University prepared you for graduate study in the DPT program?
While the course load is challenging at Rutgers it has helped to prepare me for graduate school. The courses that I took made me learn time management skills while also developing a framework for the material that I am now learning in PT school. While the classes may have been challenging the work that I put into my classes in undergrad truly paid off now that I am in graduate school.
If you could give advice to undergraduate students following a pre-physical therapy path, what would it be?
I would advise students on the pre-physically therapy path to keep trying to get to your goal of being a physical therapist if that is something that you really want to do. It is challenging and there may be people who tell you that it is not worth it or that you are just not cut out for the PT world. However, if physical therapy is your passion then do anything in your power to make it happen. Volunteer, work as an aide, or shadow a current physical therapist, the more exposure that you have the better you will get to learn about the field and it will help you in landing that seat in the next graduating class!