Sara Buermann

March 18, 2014

Sara Buermann is graduating in the spring of 2014. She is an individualized major from Richmond, Minn.

Why study pre-physical therapy at a liberal arts college?

I think a liberal arts education adds so much to the pre-physical therapy major. Taking a wide variety of classes and becoming well educated in many different subjects makes you that much more prepared for a future career. For example, I am currently taking my upper theology course titled Religions of the World. Learning about the practices and beliefs of different religions, such as Islam, will help me in future situations where a client may hold different religious beliefs.  

What makes the pre-physical therapy program at CSB/SJU unique?

I think the pre-physical therapy program at CSB/SJU is unique because of the variety of classes that you take. I took classes in the nutrition, biology, physics, chemistry and psychology departments. I believe that my science education was very well rounded because of all of the classes I took. Also, the faculty at CSB/SJU is perhaps the biggest factor that makes the program unique. I cannot express how grateful I am to the faculty! Because of the relatively small class sizes, the faculty really get to know you and have a personal relationship with you. This relationship becomes such a great resource to you as you progress through the program.   

What has your experience with the CSB/SJU pre-physical therapy program faculty been like?

The faculty are amazing! The advice and guidance from the CSB/SJU faculty has played a crucial role in my acceptance into a graduate program. Professors work with you every single step of the way and they are more than willing to meet with you and answer any questions or concerns that you may have. Also, they love what they do! It is easy to see their passion in their field. This passion makes the pre-physical therapy program that much more fun and interesting. I sincerely believe the faculty was extremely instrumental in preparing me for graduate school and because of them, I feel very ready for this next step.  

What has been one of the greatest challenges you have faced? 

One of the greatest challenges I have faced in my four years is time management. In general, college gets busy at times, no matter what your major is. Adding all of my extracurricular activities on top of classes and labs, I sometimes found my schedule overwhelming. However, this type of schedule is more than manageable and as I mentioned, professors are so understanding and supportive to help you better manage your time. Also, I sometimes tend to over-involve myself because I find everything so interesting! There are so many things to get involved in that are related to the pre-physical therapy program. Although this may be seen as my greatest challenge, it was also one of my greatest rewards because I was able to involve myself in so many different areas of the pre-physical therapy program. 

What advice do you have for students considering the pre-physical therapy program?

The best advice I have is to get to know the faculty in the pre-physical therapy department because they can offer you invaluable tips. Also, shadowing a physical therapist is extremely helpful. Feel free to make contact with a local physical therapist and ask if you can observe for a few hours. In my experiences, most physical therapists are more than happy to accommodate you and talk about their career. I made my decision that physical therapy was the right field for me after shadowing and working as a student athletic medical assistant in both high school and college. I also recommend talking to other college students that have chosen physical therapy. Take advantage of their advice, ask questions and use your resources! 

Did you study abroad? If so, how did that experience impact you?

I participated in the London study abroad program during the fall semester of my junior year. Studying abroad significantly impacted not only how I view the world but also how I view myself. It helped me learn about many other cultures which will inevitably help me in a future career as a physical therapist because of the diversity of clients I may have. Studying abroad also helped me learn about handling situations that may be out of my comfort zone which, in turn, increased my problem solving skills.  Again, these skills will all be helpful in my future career. Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I made in my time at CSB and I am a huge advocate for the study abroad program!

What are your plans after graduation?

After I graduate I will be attending St. Catherine University in their doctorate of physical therapy program.