Ben Enser is a Physiotherapist at Kieser.
What led you to study at the University of Melbourne?
A desire to study abroad! I didn't explore that opportunity during my undergraduate studies at Adrian College (Michigan, USA) due to balancing my academic demands and a four-year student-athlete experience on the varsity soccer team. It was always a dream of mine to play collegiate soccer and therefore studying abroad took a back seat. While in my third year of Exercise Science I was introduced to a recruiting agent who recommended I look into post-graduate Physiotherapy programs in Australia. With plenty of support from friends and family, I explored the options. The University of Melbourne was particularly appealing because it was the only program offering a three-year post-graduate degree - equivalent to the DPT programs in the United States. Everything else just seemed to fall into place!
What are your strongest memories of your time at the University of Melbourne?
Moving halfway around the world meant learning a new culture and a new city, using public transport, finding a place to live, and making new friends. One of the strongest memories was the daily commute on a crowded tram from North Carlton to the University. I was also blown away by the enthusiasm towards all of the annual social events: O-Camp, parma nights, pub crawls, guest lectures and student networking events. These events helped balance out the stress and fatigue experienced through many long hours of study. Interestingly, most of my memories while at University were with friends. The nature of pursuing an extended Master's Degree meant I came to know some incredible people sharing the same passion - many of these individuals I remain close to this day.
What goals did you set yourself when you finished University and have you stuck to that plan?
My first goal after finishing University was to move further up the coast to where it was just a little bit warmer. That plan failed, but I believe it was a blessing in disguise. My second goal after finishing University was to gain work experience for a few years then decide where to go and what to do. Moving back to the United States was always in the back of my mind but we all know how plans can change. Before taking my last exams I had already signed a letter of employment to work for Kieser, a private practice physiotherapy and strength training organization which offers long term solutions for chronic musculoskeletal pain. I have now been at Kieser for three and a half years and love going to work every day. The values and vision of the company, the clientele, regular PD, mentorship and mateship all make my experience as a valued team member all the more enjoyable.
What/who motivated you at University?
Physiotherapy was always the end goal; complete a four-year degree in Exercise Science then a three-year post-graduate degree. I would like to acknowledge the care, mentorship and inspiration from my hometown Physical Therapist. Through several injuries over many years of sport I was curiously watching all the people and conditions he would treat. He was the first professional I was introduced to and he actively promoted exercise-based rehab and preventive strength and conditioning. Observing him in the clinic when I was doing my own rehab was a massive inspiration for me to get to where I am today. I would also like to acknowledge the support from friends and family, whether it be social or financial, their help over the years has allowed me to achieve some great things and I am forever grateful.
What advice do you have for current students? Grow yourself and your passion. Explore a variety of personal and professional development courses. Investigate your options early and often because you never know which doors may be open for you to explore. Work hard, play hard. I first heard this from a lecturer during my second year as an undergrad. He was demanding in the quality of our work but also knew how to show us a good time. I believe maintaining a healthy balance between school and life is vital. Learn from your mistakes. There is nothing to be ashamed of. We have all made mistakes but it is those experiences that allow us to reflect and improve our skills. Just make sure you never make the same mistake twice!
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment since graduating?
Aside from being employed - which is a great accomplishment for any new graduate - I would say establishing myself as a trusted physiotherapist would be my greatest accomplishment to date. Sure, I've completed a range of PD courses and events, but those are designed to help us grow as clinicians both academically and practically. I believe the journey to become a trusted physiotherapist cannot be overlooked. It's the end result of several years of university study, clinical experience, long hours, late nights, early mornings, and learning from mistakes. I pride myself on having the respect of both my clients and my peers. The fact that several of my patients refer directly to me is an accomplishment in its own right.
What does being successful mean to you?
Success can be described or measured several different ways. I believe being successful is doing what you love and having a sense of accomplishment or fulfilment in what you do. Direct referrals in the clinic could be a measure of success. Making a comfortable living could be a measure of success. Taking an annual holiday could be a measure of success. I believe success is the result from hard work, dedication, passion, and execution.