Interview with Simone Schafer – Bsc Wits Graduate
Is it your dream to become a physiotherapist? Working with children, rehabilitating the injured or even being the personal physiotherapist for the Springboks? We interviewed a Simone Schafer who has a BSc Physiotherapy degree and is now well on her way to pursuing her dream.
What degree did you do and where do you do it?
I studied a BSc in Physiotherapy at The University of the Witwatersrand
How many years was your degree?
It was a full-time four-year degree
Did you have to Community service and if so where did you do it?
Yes I am currently finishing off my one-year community service at Bertha Gxowa (Germiston) Hospital
Any comments about Community Service?
At times it is very difficult, as I am not the kind of physiotherapist who enjoys hospital work, so at times I found it tedious. However, it is a great opportunity to learn and grow under caring, experienced guidance.
How did you choose to do your particular degree (did you always know you wanted to do this or was it a process of elimination, or through Career Counseling?), and did you struggle to get in? Is it for only the really top students or can the average student get in?
I knew from a very early age that I wanted to become a physiotherapist, I was lucky to know this so early. The application process is nerve-racking because they usually only accept 40 to 60 students for physiotherapy. There are many applicants so the competition is fierce. When I applied I needed a minimum of 60% for English, Maths and Science OR Biology. I also had to sit for the four National Benchmark Tests (NBT). So I would say it is a course for the higher achieving students.
Can any other potential student hold down a part-time job through this course?
Yes. I worked throughout my four years of studies. Very few of my classmates worked during their studies because it does take a toll on your study time. But with good time management and studying early for exams, it is possible.
Are you easily able to get a job once you graduate? Or do you have classmates still struggling to find a job?
There are many jobs going in the private sector and many practices are willing to take on physiotherapists straight out of community service and hence assist in giving experience as well as further training. . I found a job in November already that I will start in January (after community service). It is more difficult to find jobs in the public sector as it seems people spread news of a vacant post by word of mouth rather than advertising on the internet.