The Other side

Date published: October 31, 2017

The Other Side of the Table

This time last year these students attended our open day, wondering how and where to apply to commence their careers as physiotherapists. As they now sit across the other side of the table representing our programme, five undergraduate physiotherapy students reflect on their academic journies

Pictured, students who attended our 28th October 2017 open day. Left to right Ian Glover Michael Eachus Lucy Hamilton Lucy Guildford and Jodie Perriam with Stuart Porter (centre)

Our students said ;

Applying to University can be a mammoth task to even the most studious candidate. Writing your personal statement to meet the criteria of up to 5 universities; gaining necessary grades and work experience; and attending open days and interviews. As an applicant, an open day is a chance to scope out the campus, facilities, tutors and potential class mates. It is also when the University are looking for those who really show enthusiasm and potential.

Applicants feel overwhelmed, outside their level of comfort, or even feel that everybody else in the room is more capable than they are. When  we recently were asked to represent our programme at the open day at Salford, we were taken back to how nervous we were as applicants the previous year, wanting find out as much as possible and make a fantastic first impression.

Fast forward a year,  we are now mid-way through the trimester and have settled nicely into student life. An insight into The University of Salford puts a new perspective on the Open Day, with the group feeling more confident, relaxed and able to represent the course and give viable answers to applicant’s questions.

As applicants we recall feeling:

Nervous – this could be in relation to logistics, meeting new people, ability to get the grades, or making a decision about which course is best.

Impressionable – we may go in thinking one thing and leave with a completely different opinion. This could be about the university campus, facilities, lecturers, or  course content.

Academically lightweight: not knowing enough before we have even started the course, feeling like we don’t know as much as everyone else, and associated feelings of inferiority or insecurity.

Wanting to find out as much as possible without being overbearing or one’s question resulting in embarrassment.

Finally and probably most significantly: wanting to be the perfect person for the course without even knowing what the qualities of this perfect person would be.

As  current students we now see  this process through a different lens, namely:

It is much easier to comprehend what Universities are looking for – personality, enthusiasm, and communication are key in addition to the academic parameters associated with a challenging programme such as physiotherapy.

Feeling responsible for and taking ownership and pride in representing the course and really getting across how we feel about it.

Wanting to give good sound advice to potential future applicants, mainly surrounding personal statements, work experience and shadowing

Striking a delicate balance between not wanting to put people off but also being honest and giving a true representation of what is expected of us”

Dr Stuart Porter, admissions officer for the full time programme, adds

“For many years we have involved our students as ambassadors in our open days. As the years have progressed, this part of the open days has become a pivotal part of the success of our programme and admissions process. Students coming to our open days are reassured by the stories told by our current undergraduates and all of the successes, trials and tribulations, and similarly it provides our existing students a platform for them to realise that they are succeeding and are becoming professionals in their own right.”

“the ongoing success of our programme is directly correlated with the enthusiasm, passion and intelligence of our students. As a progression of this student involvement, our  level 6 students will form part of the interview panel thus they will have come full circle and truly be sat at the other side of the table. On behalf of the programme team and our future students, thank you to all of our students past and  present.

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