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Massage Therapy Grad and Class Valedictorian Shares Insights on Her Pathway to Success

By February 20, 2023No Comments
Massage Therapy

With a vision to work in healthcare, undeterred by COVID setbacks, Natalie Yeo, discovered her passion for massage therapy. She took the time to connect with us and share her insights on the program that, and people who, empowered her to achieve her career goals and life dream.

As a registered massage therapist, graduating with honours and as class valedictorian, Natalie’s overview of what led to her choice, her success and advice for those pursuing their own passions in this field, is invaluable for those seeking their own thriving career path.

“I was interested in an accelerated program; a perfect fit for someone looking to launch their career faster.”

Natalie shared with us why she chose this stream in healthcare, Anderson College and what it has meant for her.

I chose the massage therapy program because for as long as I can remember I have always wanted to help people especially when they are unable to help themselves. The Massage Therapy Program at Anderson College allowed my to do just that. I am able to help people with a wide variety of different conditions from occupational stress, rehabilitation and overall relaxation as well providing them with at-home exercises, so they know how to take charge of their own health. I chose Anderson College because it’s located right in the centre of Kitchener-Waterloo and it’s a small school with smaller class sizes, so instructors are able to spend more one-on-one time with their students. And the bonus … it was affordable for what I was looking for.”

Natalie offered insights into class structure, what was covered, her favourite parts, and what she found most effective for her learning.

“Our classes covered both theory and practical, hands-on learning. The theory portions were very heavily science based and we went into a lot of depth, ranging every system in the body – basically working from the inside out. There was anatomy, physiology, pathology, and remedial exercise, to name a few. There were also some business classes as well, which were incredibly helpful.”

“My favourite classes though were the hands-on treatment classes with our student clinic, and our case-studies class. The instructors we had did an amazing job with presenting real-life cases and discussing how we could assess and treat them. This was a great way of showing the students that there is more than one way of treating something while still achieving the same goal.”

We asked Natalie to share a little more of what the flow of those hands-on classes were like and she had this to say.

“The teacher would explain everything beforehand, so we had an idea of what to expect. Then we would get on the massage tables, and she would do a demonstration on somebody. We would practice and she would walk through all the different cubicles making sure questions were answered and help given where needed. It was a great experience. You were able to apply what you learned in the textbooks, and almost feel what it would be like to be in that role. I think it really solidifies what you’re learning.

And what surprised Natalie most about her classes?

“While it was great working on our classmates, we got used to that after a while because we were familiar. When we actually saw a client, did a full intake interview, and then did the hands-on component, it suddenly felt real and all the assessments, all the time put into the interview, all the studying, was for a reason. It works!

At Anderson College we truly work hard to ensure every student feels supported, uplifted and cared for during their time with us, so we asked the important question.
“How did you feel about the Anderson team?” We were humbled and honoured by what Natalie shared with us.

The staff at Anderson college genuinely care about their students and their success in school. Blake Neibert is the core of the Massage Therapy program and will go above and beyond to make sure his students understand concepts. He is able to take complex topics such as neurological conditions and break them down into manageable chucks so you are able to actually learn concepts not just memorize.

“One of our other teachers was able to take our scenarios from clinic, while maintaining confidentiality, and bring them into our theory classes. For people who are learning and still trying to figure out different conditions, that was extremely beneficial. It meant if you were stuck on something, you could bring it up to the whole group. This is something that I’ve taken with me into my practice now. I use it with clients who need more support and input. I may have an idea, but I want to bounce some ideas off other professionals. So, I reach out to my colleagues, not only in the massage therapy profession, but in a bunch of other professions like chiropractic, physiotherapy, kinesiology, all different kind of modalities.

And the administration staff were available for what you needed too, and would respond quickly, like withing the hour, even if it was on their own time. The career services team helped as well. I had a couple of classes with them, where they walked us through how to prepare a professional looking resume and cover letter. We had a couple of online meetings as well, where they went through what a business owner would be looking for when hiring a massage therapist.”

And all this led to incredible success for Natalie. From graduation, to studying for her board exams and landing a dream position.

“Upon completion of the Massage Therapy diploma program, I graduated with high-honours and at the ceremony I had the honour of being Valedictorian for the graduating classes of the Massage Therapy program for 2020, 2021 and 2022. I was able to secure full-time employment immediately after receiving my license from the CMTO (College of Massage Therapists of Ontario) at CARESPACE Health and Wellness in Kitchener where I work amongst not only other RMT’s but Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Kinesiologists, Naturopathic Doctors, Psychotherapists and Dietitians. Before I worked as an RMT at CARESPACE I worked for them as a receptionist to learn how a multiple-disciplinary program operates, so when I was a practitioner it would be an easy and smooth transition.”

In Ontario to practice as a massage therapist, one must be ‘”registered”. We asked Natalie what the benefits of this are, in her opinion.

I believe being registered with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario is of terrific benefit, as professionals and for our clients. Aligning with this professional organization ensures the safety of our clients and makes sure that they are taken care of. It also keeps us up to date with all the new health and industry information as it comes out.”

We were curious to know exactly how Anderson has helped Natalie reach her goals and dreams. She shared this …

“My time with Anderson allowed me to launch into the healthcare field, learning theory and having the opportunity to apply concepts hands-on in practice. I gained the confidence to apply for, and to perform, the job I have now. I think a lot of new grads could be intimidated to apply for a position within a multiple-disciplinary clinic where they have various professions represented, perhaps because they don’t think that they’re smart, or qualified, enough. Although passing the certification exam means you are, they just may not feel ready. After my time with Anderson College, I felt highly prepared to achieve my goals at the place where I work.

Natalie’s Advice for Future Massage Therapy Students …

“It’s an accelerated program, and it can be easy to fall behind, allowing the stress to get to you. So, my advice is to keep yourself on top of things and be very organized. Have a clear plan of how you’re going to tackle and accomplish your work. Try not to limit yourself in any way. You are capable of completing the program, of graduating and passing the certification exam. You will understand the content over time. It will get easier as you go through it. It seems like a lot at first, but it will get easier.”

And with the success story that Natalie leaves in her wake, we have no doubt she will inspire many students as they look to achieving their own career goals and life dreams. We’re incredibly honoured and grateful to have Natalie as a member of our Anderson family.

If you’re still considering your career options, why not take our “Anderson College Career Training Readiness Quiz”? If you’re fired up and inspired to start your Massage Therapy career or to explore one of our other 30+ program, book a virtual appointment to speak with an Admissions Advisor. We’re here to help you every step along the way.

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