Abby Hinnenkamp, a 2020 College of Saint Benedict graduate, was a biology major from Melrose, Minnesota, who has been involved in the pre-physical therapy program at CSB and Saint John’s University.
Why study pre-physical therapy at a liberal arts college?
Studying at a liberal arts college has formed me into a well-rounded person. The opportunity to take multiple classes beyond my major has provided me with many insights I will carry on with me to graduate school and hold on to for my whole life. I have grown into a person who appreciates science, but also appreciates the fine arts. Classes such as philosophy and theology have helped me view the world differently. I am beyond grateful I chose to study at a liberal arts college.
What makes the pre-PT program at CSB/SJU unique?
The pre-PT program as CSB/SJU allows us to get to know teachers and students very well. Small class size is a reason for this. Professors want every one of their students to succeed. They will meet outside of the classroom to go over material or answer questions. They get to know their students and care about not only their academics, but how they are doing as well. A small class size also allows students to ask questions in class and contribute to class discussions. My learning has definitely been enhanced by having a small class size.
What has your experience with the CSB/SJU pre-PT program faculty been like?
The pre-PT faculty has been nothing but amazing. My pre-PT advisor, Don Fischer, cares about each of his students and wants them to achieve. Don is very approachable and will meet with anyone to answer any questions they may have. He meets with all of his advisees before registering for classes to make sure everyone is on track to succeed. He has been the best at answering questions about the application process and helping me along the way. I cannot thank Don, and the rest of my professors enough for always caring about the students and helping us out with whatever we may need.
What has been one of the greatest challenges you have faced?
College is a time where it feels like there is a million things going on at once. It has sometimes been hard to manage my time. I worked a lot during college both on and off campus. My part-time jobs along with homework has caused me to be stressed at times, but I always managed to get everything done with effort. Even though it has been tough at times, I have learned time management skills that I will use throughout my entire life, and I am thankful for that.
What advice do you have for students considering the pre-PT program?
If you are considering the pre-PT program, my advice is to go out and get experience. Shadowing or even talking to PTs will help you realize if PT is the path you want to take. I would also advise to go to more than one PT site, as they are so different, and you may like certain settings and others not so much. I definitely learned a profession in PT is what I want to do with my future after shadowing.
What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to attend the DPT program at the University of Saint Catherine in the fall of 2020.