My journey from undergrad to postgrad from Health Science to Prosthetics and Orthotics with Elizabeth Tori

My journey from undergrad to postgrad from Health Science to Prosthetics and Orthotics with Elizabeth Tori

In the lead up to the Postgraduate Expo events in Bundoora, Bendigo and Melbourne CBD MyLaTrobe spoke to some students who have made the transition from Undergraduate to Postgraduate at La Trobe. Elizabeth Tori studies at the Melbourne Campus in Bundoora, after completing her Bachelor of Health Sciences she signed up for a Master of Clinical Prosthetics and Orthotics.

Register for the Postgraduate Expo before Tuesday 1 October and you could win a $250 prepaid Visa gift card.

I felt as though going straight to postgraduate studies would increase my confidence in my abilities and not let good study habits, that I’d spent so long building, go to waste.

Why did you decide to go straight into postgraduate studies after completing your undergraduate studies?

I decided to go straight into postgraduate studies whilst the skills I had built in my undergraduate degree were still fresh in my mind. I completed my undergraduate degree in 2017 and was offered membership to the Golden Key Honor Society for academic merit. I felt as though going straight to postgraduate studies would increase my confidence in my abilities and not let good study habits, that I’d spent so long building, go to waste.

Where did you find the information about your postgrad course before you applied to attend a La Trobe postgraduate study expo? 

Whilst completing my undergraduate degree I knew that I wanted to undertake post-graduate studies, I just didn’t know what I wanted to do! I was positive that I wanted to continue studying in a health-related field and looked to my peers for information. I found out about the Master of Prosthetics and Orthotics through friends that I had made during the first year of my undergraduate degree. A couple of them were currently enrolled in P&O and were loving the balance of hands-on technical skills and clinical soft-skills that they were developing in the course. The La Trobe University website helped fill in the gaps about specifics of the course, entry requirements and graduate opportunities. By the time I finished researching I had no doubt that Prosthetics and Orthotics was what I wanted to pursue. 

Besides the strong personal attachment I had to the leafy green campus and laid-back student culture I also felt as though La Trobe University had more to offer academically than any of the alternatives.

What were the factors that led you to apply again at La Trobe? How do you feel La Trobe differs from other universities?

There was never a doubt that I wanted to complete my postgraduate studies at La Trobe. Besides the strong personal attachment I had to the leafy green campus and laid-back student culture I also felt as though La Trobe University had more to offer academically than any of the alternatives. La Trobe University is currently the only university in Australasia that offers Prosthetics and Orthotics as a masters degree. This internationally recognized degree allows students to travel all over the world and has strong ties to work opportunities in the UK, Europe and developing nations across the globe.

Did you undertake any placements in undergrad that influenced your decision to follow a particular path/postgrad option?

In one of my final semesters I was invited to be part of the Professional Development seminars delivered to health sciences students. I was asked to present a lecture to first year students on possibilities and pathways through the health sciences degree. It was through this program that I meticulously researched potential graduate opportunities. It was also through this program that I was challenged to look at future opportunities for myself and it really catalyzed my decision to stay at La Trobe and peruse postgraduate studies.

Do you have any advice or tips for other students considering moving straight into postgrad from undergrad studies?

The biggest advice I can give is to keep practicing the skills you have learnt during your undergraduate studies. Although the time between graduating and recommencing study might not be that long, they’ll be one of your biggest assets and having them fresh and still in your mind will make postgraduate studies a lot easier.

What do you love about La Trobe?

I love that La Trobe has a friendly and laid-back environment. I’m not sure if it’s the limitless coffee shops to visit whilst you study, or having a campus surrounded by trees but there’s something about the relaxed culture that meshes right in with my lifestyle and lets me feel right at home.

If you’re unsure about how postgraduate study will fit into your lifestyle don’t hesitate to contact La Trobe and discuss study options.

Do you utilise any of the University’s Careers services or programs?

This year I’ve accessed the careers services to get advice on resumes and putting together job applications in anticipation for a December graduation. I had some excellent feedback after this session too! A potential employer contacted me personally to let me know that they were very impressed with my application but couldn’t hire anyone who hadn’t graduated yet.

What do you hope your future career will look like?

I want a career that is exciting and varied. I can envisage myself working in the area of prosthetics with all kinds of people, but am also keenly interested in paediatric orthotics. I am also interested in taking full advantage of an internationally recognized degree and traveling overseas to work. An ideal graduate position would be a role that lets me explore different scenarios and gain a wide variety of experience in both prosthetics and orthotics. I want to push myself to learn as much as possible to increase my skills as a clinician to ignite my passion in new areas.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

If you’re unsure about how postgraduate study will fit into your lifestyle don’t hesitate to contact La Trobe and discuss study options. From my experience they can be flexible with many courses. This allows students to choose their own path and find the right work/life balance.

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