Graduation Year: Rutgers University Class of 2016
Major: Exercise Science and Sport Studies: Applied Kinesiology
Graduate School: Rutgers University DPT Newark - North Program, Class of 2019
When/what made you want to become a Physical Therapist?
Ever since I can remember, I always loved helping others and doing my best to make a difference. For quite some time, I was unsure about which career path to choose that would be fitting for my passion. However, during my freshman year of college I was exposed to physical therapy by accompanying family members to their appointments. It was through that experience that I realized my aspirations would be fulfilled in becoming a physical therapist.
What specifically about the Rutgers DPT program appealed to you?
The Rutgers DPT program stood out to me among all the others because of all the opportunities that are embedded within its three-year span. First off, the faculty that guide the students through the program are spectacular. The significance each and every individual has to the program is unmeasurable. Moreover, the volunteering opportunities that are available are endless, including treatment of patients under the guidance of faculty members in the Community Participatory Physical Therapy Clinic. Another opportunity that is available to students is participation in research with faculty members. Last but not least, the diversity of the Rutgers DPT program sets a foundation for an enriching educational experience.
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 was involved in the Exercise Science and Sports Studies Honors research program under the mentorship of Dr. Brandon Alderman. In addition to conducting and presenting research, I also took advantage of every volunteering opportunity that I came across. I had the privilege of volunteering in outpatient physical therapy clinics, long term nursing facilities, as well as rehabilitation centers. Each volunteering experience that I completed enriched my path that lead to physical therapy school, laying a foundation for the knowledge I would be acquiring in the near future.
Did you have a favorite class or professor within your major?
Neuromechanical Kinesiology with Professor D’Adrea was one of my favorite classes taken at Rutgers. Professor D’Andrea was fantastic in the way that he kept the students engaged in class, presented complex material in an effective manner, and most importantly reinforced my growing interest in the movement sciences.
How do you feel your major and classes at Rutgers University prepared you for graduate study in the DPT program?
The rigor of the undergraduate curriculum at Rutgers University effectively prepared me for the demands that are faced in a doctorate program. More specifically, classes such as biology, chemistry, and calculus taught me patience and methods of efficient studying that resulted in positive outcomes. My major exercise science and sports studies prepared me for the DPT program by introducing fundamental concepts that have already resurfaced countless times in the physical therapy curriculum.
If you could give advice to undergraduate students following a pre-physical therapy path, what would it be?
My advice to those that are embarking on a physical therapy path is the following:
Get involved. Branch out. Ask questions. Step outside of you comfort zone. Set a plan. Most importantly, seize every opportunity that is presented to you. The education that is provided at Rutgers University is one of the many opportunities that will guide you on your path to physical therapy. If you dedicate your efforts to maximizing your educational resources while allowing time for yourself and the things you enjoy, you will undoubtedly head in the right direction on the path to success.