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Journey of a DPT Student

My First Job

Published April 7, 2014 3:55 PM by Lauren Rosso

I'm happy to report that my interview went well enough to yield the ultimate goal -- a job offer! I got two calls on Tuesday (April Fool's Day), one at work and one on my cell phone, however managed to miss both. Not my best performance, but maybe I would have thought it was a joke if I actually did answer. My future boss called back on Wednesday, again at work, to offer me the position. I didn't want to sound desperate, so I initially agreed to take the 24 hours she gave me to think it over. By 4:00 that afternoon, I called back and accepted the position.

The position is full-time in the acute-care setting at a large level-1 trauma hospital. I will rotate every three months between multiple ICUs, a burn unit and step-down units. Acute care is one setting that I haven't had a ton of experience with during clinical rotations, so I expect there to be a very large learning curve and a period of feeling completely incompetent. I guess that's what orientation is for.

The most exciting and terrifying part of this process was getting the "welcome package" with benefits information and expected salary. I saw things about 401K matching, vision plans, health savings accounts, and about 15 other areas I didn't know a thing about. It's overwhelming. I'm thankful for the fact that our program has set up a meeting with a financial advisor before we graduate to talk these kinds of topics out and get some guidance. For a large majority of us, this is the first time we've had to think about any long-term decisions and I want to make sure I'm on the right path. For now, I just can't contain my excitement about the next few months.

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Lauren, I am experiencing these same emotions over the past couple months since I started applying for jobs. The job interview process has been nerve wrecking as this is the moment in life you have to decide what job to take to give your career and financial standing as an adult the best possible start. Each interview presented a different dynamic as some were more casual and others involved more character questions and business questions. The main aspects of my first job that I desired were: a place to achieve my career goals, solid health insurance/benefits, and decent starting salary to help repay school loans. Luckily we had a teacher explain all the bells and whistles of insurance and benefits to us during class which made the negotiating process a lot more smooth. With a week left until graduation I am excited to start first as a PT aide the week after graduation and then as a PT at my first job around August 1, 2016.

Chris Fightmaster April 26, 2016 3:24 PM

Lauren, I know it's been a while for you but I am just now feeling the same thing that you went through with the first job butterflies. I actually just signed an offer letter today and have mixed emotions about it. On one hand its great to not have to sweat about it anymore and can concentrate on finishing school now. But like you, I received all the benefits package and have no idea what I am looking at. My parents continue to ask me things that I have nothing to compare it too since this is my first true real life work experience. Luckily one of my professors sat down with me and looked over everything and was able to point out a few good points as well as some points of concern. It's a fun and exciting process and definitely has shown me that real life is about to begin!

Justin March 28, 2016 3:35 PM

Congratulations on the job, Lauren. I have recently been interviewing, and after my resume got posted (accidentally) on certain job sites, I have gotten a lot of phone calls from recruiters. Couple that with phone calls that I am actually awaiting, that's a lot of phone calls to answer! I personally don't like having a phone always on my hip, so being consistent answering phone calls has been hard. I think that expedient, professional communication is something I need to keep working on as I transition into post-graduate life. It is an exciting transition though, and I am hopeful for the new professional relationships I will develop as I begin my career.

Stephen April 27, 2015 1:01 PM

Congratulations Lauren! I hope you have enjoyed your first year as an employed PT. I am now following in your footsteps as I begin interviewing for my first job. After considering multiple settings I have been encouraged by one of my mentors to seek my first job in a large trauma 1 medical center in acute or inpatient. I have heard that in these settings you are exposed to a variety of patients and conditions which will prepare you for a future in just about any setting. I hope that you are finding my mentor's advice to be true and that you are becoming more confident in the acute care setting! I also could not agree more with the terms "exciting and terrifying" that you used to describe this transition from an academic setting into the "real world". This is a great time to became of PT and I am confident that the future will be bright for all of us graduating and accepting new jobs!

Lisa April 24, 2015 3:25 PM

Lauren I can definitely relate to the terrifying welcome package. I just had a job interview last week and was given all of the fun benefits details. There is so much to think about! Being in school for my entire life, I have not had to think about all of these things and now it is here and I will have to make all of these decisions so soon. So much to think about and not much time to make decisions. I am definitely seeking guidance from experienced people who have made successful financial plans. I know the decisions we make now will really impact our future. My clinical instructor was able to give me a lot of good advice about paying off loans, healthcare plans, and making the most of job bonuses.  I hope you are enjoying your first year working on your own and feel confident in your decisions you made last year!

Vaughn, SPT March 24, 2015 1:45 PM
Longs NC

You'll be thrilled you took this opportunity.  Good luck.

Toni April 11, 2014 7:36 PM

Congratulations! You've prepped a long time…now the real journey begins.

Dean Metz April 7, 2014 4:43 PM

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