Physio Alex Austin graduated from a Masters in Physiotherapy this year, he works with Evolve Physio Group and will be a panelist for the Career Options in Allied and Digital Health on 4 September.
You’re a graduate of the Masters of Sports Physiotherapy at La Trobe, why did you chose this course and how has the course and your time at La Trobe prepared you for the workplace?
I chose this course as it is a well regarded Sports Physiotherapy course within the sports industry as well as being a prerequisite for most elite sports jobs, and I plan to embark upon a career in elite sports. The Masters has equipped me well with higher level clinical reasoning skills, research critiquing skills and an abundance of great networks amongst my year group.
Are there any aspects of your degree that have proved particularly important in the workplace?
The networking aspect has been particularly useful in giving me a platform from which to apply for jobs within elite sport.
When it comes to graduate roles in Allied Health – what key skills are employers now looking for?
I believe many employers look for a good personality and someone who has energy, enthusiasm and cares enough about the place they are applying to work, to have researched it and give their honest opinion on it. Many hopeful applicants will have the same paper qualifications, so employers will often look for the people rather than the paper.
Many hopeful applicants will have the same paper qualifications, so employers will often look for the people rather than the paper.
What additional steps, outside of the classroom, can our current undergraduates take to enhance their employability?
Find what area or areas you enjoy and politely pester people for shadowing opportunities, volunteer work or any involvement in that area, exposing you to all aspects of that field. This way you’ll not only work out if you definitely like the area, but you’ll gain valuable experience and demonstrate initiative.
Find what area or areas you enjoy and politely pester people for shadowing opportunities, volunteer work or any involvement in that area, exposing you to all aspects of that field.
Based on your experience, what practical employment advice do you have for current students in Allied Health?
See every meeting with a new physiotherapist as a networking opportunity. Try to stay in touch with physios who work in areas you like or you think you like. Reach out to these contacts regularly to build casual relationships, so that if a job comes up and they have a link to that area, you have a personal leg up to getting an interview.
Always provide a strong cover letter with applications, showing how you meet the job requirements and how you have researched the place you’re applying to work in and why you really want to work there. Once you’re in the interview, be yourself and don’t be afraid to ask your own questions at the end – have these pre-planned.
As the world of work is changing rapidly with tech advances, do you have any specific advice for students on how they can be prepared for these changes in relation to Allied Health and Digital Health?
Smarten up your social media pages. Take out childish names or tags – they will haunt you, as employers will check your Facebook and Instagram to see if your posting history fits with their organisation.
Become comfortable with an online presence, particularly on LinkedIn and Twitter and be prepared to post content regularly to promote yourself at some stage in your career – I believe this is an inevitability.