School Hosts Inaugural Physical Therapy Employer Showcase

Doctor of physical therapy students meet with potential employers and explore career opportunities at the Inaugural Physical Therapy Employer Showcase.

Feb 5, 2014
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Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students of the Thomas J. Longs School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences suited up on October 30, 2013 to take advantage of one of Pacific's greatest assets: its network of professionals. Similar to the University's Meet the Firms event, the Physical Therapy(PT) Employer Showcase featured employers from Stockton, Modesto, Sacramento and elsewhere who were specifically looking to hire Pacific graduates. The DPT students were able to meet and greet practicing physical therapists as well as recruiting and staffing managers. Some of the exhibitors at the showcase were Burger Rehabilitation, Golden Bear Physical Therapy, Therapists Unlimited, Therapy Specialists and even our very own Pacific Career Resource Center (CRC).

As the students waited eagerly to connect with the showcase attendees, Allen Herinckx '15 shared what he hoped to gain from his first experience at a PT showcase. Herinckx explained, "Just talking to possible employers and seeing what they can offer. I want to get a different perspective of physical therapy, and learn new things." Hannah Main '14 responded, "The benefits for me are being able to gain new skills, and hopefully being able to find a job. It also gives me experience in talking with possible employers." A majority of the students there had the same idea; they all wanted more practice speaking to not only professionals but also potential employers.

The event gave students the opportunity to promote themselves with real recruiters in a casual and stress-free environment, which gave them practical interviewing skills they needed. Other benefits and take-aways of the showcase were getting an idea of what to expect in the future, what different practices settings are like and what employers are looking for in future graduates. Although most of the exhibitors at the showcase were looking for local graduates to recruit, they were also able to provide insight on the different types of organizations to graduates who plan to return home. Nevertheless, the employers were able to give them insight on the different types of organizations out there; Shanna Herman '15 said, "I was able to see different offices from different areas that could offer me a lot of opportunities. I learned that some organizations offer specialties like aquatic therapy."

This event helped the students realized they had options after school that they could pursue, but what exactly did the employers gain? The PT Employer Showcase was an opportunity for not only soon to be graduating PT students to expand their career horizons, but also a chance for local employers to take a look at Pacific's graduates; Pacific's reputation for producing outstanding health care practitioners drew many employers to exhibit at the showcase. When asked what the benefits of attending the showcase were, Jocelyn Sarmiento, a recruiting manager for Burger Rehabilitation said, "By going to these showcases, we can make positive contact with students, increase our brand awareness, market job opportunities and hire passionate people." Many of the exhibitors were looking to hire on the spot. Karen Fabreo-Hittle '02 of Therapy Specialists emphasized, "I'm actually looking for one recruit right now, so spread the word!"

So what exactly are recruiters looking for in students? Christine Richards, staffing manager, responded, "We're looking for a PT student who is passionate, loves physical therapy and who wants to make a positive impact regardless of their setting. More specifically, we're looking for someone who can take assignments, travel and be adaptable." Bobby Ismail '94 of Golden Bear PT said, "We want someone well-rounded, with great interpersonal skills. We also want someone who is compassionate and looks after a patient's well-being. Most importantly, we're looking for someone who has a compatible personality with our organization." To add onto that, Deb Crane from the CRC had a few suggestions, "The best person to hire is someone who can be a leader, and also someone who does community service or volunteering because it shows that they're well-rounded."

Our Pacific tigers are students who go above and beyond, and commit to academic achievement, but how do they fare in the eyes of real-world professionals? According to Sarmiento, Richards, and Ismail they all see great potential in Pacific grads. Ismail said, "We see huge potential in Pacific grads. The DPT students are great clinicians; they have a great personality, which is fitting for outpatient physical therapy." All signs point to great careers for our future Pacific DPT grads. For those looking for great opportunities, recruiting and staffing managers have suggested that students attend trade shows or conferences, have a referral, and make contact with PTs online or by phone. With an established reputation in the field and an army of alumni to support them, DPT graduates have a bright outlook.

By: Alin Kim '14, BUS