my internship episode
Just looking for some feedback on my essay for this year's PTCAS personal statement: Reflect on a meaningful experience in your life and share how that experience influenced your personal growth, such as your attitudes or perceptions.
Here is what I have:
The most meaningful experience in my life was my internship with James, founder and CEO of WarmUp Nutrition. I've known James my whole life, but before last year, hadn't seen him in about 10 years. We started working together at a funeral home and, as we always do, were talking about our goals in life, our ambitions, and our futures. James had just graduated Suffolk University and opened up his company WarmUp Nutrition. We talked about how and why he had started the company and the life of being a business owner. After listening to his story, I had told him that my dream was to be able to wake up everyday and have a job that I simply couldn't consider "work" and just be happy. I mentioned I've wanted to be a physical therapist since I was 14 years old because that would allow me to do just that. He asked me how and I had told him it was because the therapists that rehabbed my elbow gave me such a good rehab experience that I wanted to do the same for others. I then said that I wanted to be able to provide the mental and physical strength that patients in rehab need, just as my therapists did for me.
He realized that I was not in it because it's a "good paying job" but instead because I genuinely had a passion for helping others. He urged me to not wait until grad school to start helping and use the knowledge I have gained in undergrad to start helping now. So, that's what I did. I created my own business, Gerardi Performance. It started just as an online business ran from social media where I put out free content for all of my followers. The content ranged from exercise cues to maximize results and minimize injury, diet tips, motivational videos, and other general fitness tips. As my following began to grow, I realized that I could turn this into something more than just a hobby. I started charging for workout and diet programs as well as in-person personal training. Since then I've grown a following of over 10 thousand people and have helped more than 100 better their mental and physical health through fitness. The end goal and my dream is to open up my own physical therapy and performance facility after having gone through graduate school.
In the internship, I learned marketing, advertising, and communication skills, but that's not why I chose to write about James and WarmUp. The truth is, he has taught me to never give up, don't care what others think, and pursue my dreams because we only get one life. I didn't understand how powerful that sentence was until one day, he took me to a nursing home instead of the office. At the nursing home, he had told me that my job was to go around and ask the residents what their regrets in life are and if they could go back in time and do anything differently, what would they do. I would say about 80% of the elderly residents said that they wish they hadn't worried so much about failing and had just gave everything they had to their dream. That hit home for me.
From that day forward, I have been motivated and determined to do everything I can to get into graduate school, graduate, and open my own physical therapy facility. In achieving those three things, I will achieve the ultimate dream of being able to wake up every morning, go to "work" and then leave knowing that I've helped people feel better that day. That's why I believe a career in physical therapy is the best. Everyone looks for their purpose in life and because of my experience through rehab and the internship with James, I've found mine.