Maita is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Kinesiology major at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, she is studying abroad in London this semester.
In this week's post, Maita talks about how her internship has confirmed her chosen career path and post-graduate plans.
Prior to coming to the United Kingdom, I had an interest in physical therapy. Now, after just a few weeks in the United Kingdom, I have a passion in it.
I am an incoming junior in college who will be completing her undergraduate degree with a major in Kinesiology. Kinesiology is the study of movement, so if you can imagine, the degree lines up quite nicely with the prerequisites that are required for entrance into a physical therapy doctorate program.
Following high school, I knew a few things about where I wanted my future career to take me; I preferred science classes as opposed to history classes, I wanted to work with and help people and I wanted a career that took me farther than my undergraduate degree. With my interests in science, the human body and working with people, I came to the decision of working towards a major in Kinesiology with intent of taking it past my four years at the University of Minnesota.
I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted the path following my undergrad to take me. Sports management, occupational therapy and athletic training (i.e. common career paths of other Kinesiology majors) didn’t seem to ignite the career-fire I had been seeking. With that left physical therapy and as a result, became the answer to the question everyone had been asking: What is your dream career following college?
Due to my personality, what I thought I was seeking in a future career and alignment of physical therapy pre-requisites and Kinesiology classes, physical therapy seemed to me, to be the most feasible career choice for my future. A ton of the people that I knew pursuing physical therapy were doing so because of a great physical therapist they had in the past due to a sports injury. Although I played sports growing up, I never really faced a physical therapy requiring injury. So when physical therapy became my answer to the career question, it seemed slightly random and for a reason I couldn’t figure out, didn’t have me completely convinced.
In applying for an internship here in London, I did my best to leave my preferred options open – hoping and believing that there is a purpose to everything. I knew wherever I were to end up, would teach me a valuable lesson in one-way or another. When I found out that I was working with a physiotherapy company, I was ecstatic to learn more about the profession. I knew coming into the internship that I would learn a lot about muscles, exercises and stretches necessary in a day-to-day life in a physiotherapist. What I didn’t know was to the extent I would learn about the profession in just a few short weeks.
Through my internship at Anatomie-Physio, I have had the amazing opportunity to see all different types of injuries, people from the young to the elderly and most importantly, learn how different therapists work in their own and unique way towards the same goal. My role in the clinic is to grasp as much information as I can appointment after appointment of which I do through asking questions and observing. Anatomie has taught me that the profession of physical therapy is so much more than assessing a patient’s injury; instead, the profession is about getting to know your patients and walking along side them towards the finish line that together you both decide.
Each physiotherapist at Anatomie has their own personal style of work as well as their own story on what path(s) they took towards their current place of employment. I would like to believe that in answering my questions regarding what brought each of my supervisors to physiotherapy, they find as much encouragement in explaining than I do listening. Regardless of whether I end up becoming a physical therapist, I’ve learned through their stories that it never will become too late to chase my dreams.
I have found find so much joy and excitement in going to my internship each week here in London that I’ve finally began to realize where my passion is. I am drawn to physical therapy because I want to help other people while, in building relationships, they will also help me. I want to be on my feet amongst hardworking co-workers and I want to find myself in a career that I enjoy spending my days at. In beginning my junior year, I will also begin working with intent to follow my undergraduate with graduate school for physical therapy.
I want to work towards physical therapy not because of money or because I had a sports injury and a great relationship with a physical therapist growing up, but because I want to learn everything about the profession and I know that a future of helping people will bring me endless exultation. Although, physical therapy may not be where my path decides to take me, if I can find anything like the experience I’ve been able to have at my internship here in London, I know I’ll be one of the lucky ones. A special thank you to Anatomie for this amazing opportunity, for the training, support and encouragement as well as allowing me to immerse myself into your organization!
Maita's journey continues every Wednesday so stay tuned.