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Yvette Ramirez ’18
How did you choose your area of study?
I had been interested in studying physical therapy since I was in high school, but I spent a lot of time in college exploring other careers to make sure it was something I wanted to pursue.
What role did internships play in shaping your career path?
My first internship was doing research in a lab at Rosalind Franklin University after my freshman year. Although I did enjoy doing research that summer, it helped me confirm that I wouldn’t enjoy working in an immunology lab as a career. My second internship was during my semester abroad in Costa Rica during my junior year. I worked alongside a physical therapist to research how physical therapy can help premature babies. I was fascinated by the topic so I decided to do another internship my senior year at the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute. There, I helped the Health Performance Institute with training athletes and also shadowing a physical therapist. Most of the patients there were young athletes, so it helped me see how diverse the physical therapy profession is and also get shadowing hours in for my application. In general, my internships helped me realize what I like to do and also let me explore the physical therapy field more and gave me valuable experiences I was able to elaborate on in my application.
What would you recommend Lake Forest College students considering a career in your field to do to prepare?
For students pursuing physical therapy, I would encourage them to start looking at graduate schools as soon as they can so they have time to complete all of the prerequisite classes the different schools require. I’d also encourage them to shadow several physical therapists so they can see a variety of settings and patient populations.