Graduation Year: Rutgers University Class of 2016
Major: Exercise Science and Sports studies, Applied Kinesiology option
Graduate School: Rutgers University DPT Blackwood – South Program, Class of 2020
When/what made you want to become a Physical Therapist?
I was exposed to PT at a young age, which initially sparked my interest. Once I got to college, I began volunteering and shadowing to expose myself to fields I was interested in. This is when my desire to pursue a career in PT was really solidified.
What specifically about the Rutgers DPT program appealed to you?
I loved attending Rutgers as an undergraduate. Rutgers, in general, has great school pride and provides a wonderful education. Being that it is the state school, the DPT program gives so many opportunities to experience many top class facilities. Additionally, I enjoy being able to be close to my family and friends.
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 tried to expose myself to as many experiences as possible. By keeping an open-mind I got to see the vast array of opportunities in the PT field. In this time, I volunteered in both inpatient and outpatient settings, and shadowed in specialties such as geriatrics and pediatrics. My major also required a full semester internship, where I worked in an outpatient setting multiple times a week for the entire semester.
Did you have a favorite class or professor within your major?
As hard as it was, Systems Physiology was one of my favorite classes. It taught me how to study, and really prepared me for graduate school. The material was also interesting and relatable to the field of Physical Therapy. Dr. Nagle, was definitely my favorite professor. Being that she practices as a PT, she helped relate a lot of the material to the field and real-world experiences.
How do you feel your major and classes at Rutgers University prepared you for graduate study in the DPT program?
The curriculum was definitely challenging, however, I feel it prepared me well for graduate school. It taught me how to study, and how to handle multiple difficult classes at once. It gave me the knowledge I would need for further studies. I also gained the ability to time-manage my studies and I thank that to the rigorous undergraduate curriculum.
If you could give advice to undergraduate students following a pre-physical therapy path, what would it be?
Shadow and volunteer as much as you can! There is no better way to learn about the field, than by experiencing yourself. It was my experiences outside the classroom that really confirmed my desire to pursue a career in PT.