Harris College caught up with kinesiology alum Suzanne Roudebush ’21 where she delved into her time at TCU and how Harris College helped her achieve her goals. Roudebush was a double major receiving a Bachelor of Science in movement science and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in modern dance. She is currently in the process of completing her Doctor of Physical Therapy at New York University (NYU). TCU and, more specifically, Harris College played a huge role in her decision to pursue a career in the health care field.
How did Harris College prepare you for your career?
Looking back, I recognize that a large contributing factor to the confidence and professionalism that I now have in physical therapy (PT) school stems from my classes and the guidance of my professors at TCU. I believe that the variety of classes and learning experiences that Harris College provided helped my transition into an intense graduate program.
What skill(s) did you learn that you’ve found most useful in your career?
The biggest skill I gained was being able to adapt and look at things from different points of view. Harris College’s kinesiology program does a great job preparing students to be generalists while allowing them to bring their own individuality forward. I was so thankful for this foundation because as I step into the physical therapy field, it is important to have an evidence-based practice approach and not to be stuck in one way of thinking.
What are you most proud of from your Harris College experience?
I am most proud of graduating as a double major and with all the prerequisites for PT school. It was a double major that has not been completed before and I worked very hard to finish everything in my four years at TCU.
What is something at TCU that you absolutely loved being a part of?
I loved being a part of the community at TCU. If you have ever toured TCU, you will recognize the phrase, “small school with a big school feel.” This is such a true reflection of the community at TCU. There is never a dull moment on campus, and I love that there are so many different experiences you can be a part of. Whether it’s sports, arts or clubs, there is something for everyone. We are an everything school, after all!
Was your Harris College experience worth the price?
It is no secret that TCU and going into a health care profession is costly. For me, this looked like having to pay to take summer classes and sacrificing my time to go over 18 credit hours every semester. Looking back, I definitely think it is worth it if you are passionate about health care. The program gave me such a great jumping off point, and I am reaping the benefits of it while being in my doctorate program.
If you had it to do all over again, what would you do differently?
I have thought about this a lot since I graduated from TCU, and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Things fell into place, and I just kept moving forward until they did.
What do you know now that you wish you knew during your time at TCU?
Something that I wish I had known sooner at TCU was that the professors and advisors truly are there to help guide you. In my first two years at TCU, I was always feared going to my professors thinking it would reflect poorly on me. This is the exact opposite of what reality is. They are there to help you, not just with class work, but also with navigating college life. Foraging a connection with a professor will help you so much as you figure out your next chapter. And they are super fun to get to know. (Shout out to Dr. Esposito!)
What advice would you give a prospective Harris College student?
There is time to do both! By this, I mean even if you are in a rigorous degree, there is still time to explore other learning opportunities and things that you want to do. Block out a couple hours a day to study, but also take time to do other things. Take a fun elective class (The School for Classical & Contemporary Dance has amazing classes), go explore Fort Worth, grab a bite to eat at Pizza Snob. I promise there is time to excel in school and enjoy college.
What do you wish you would have known on your first day of school?
As cliche as it is, I wish I could go back and tell myself that it will all work out. The first day of college is so packed with meeting new people, figuring out class schedules and dealing with a new roommate. Looking back now, I wish I had just taken a deep breath and not stressed about all the small things. Transition and change happen so often in life; I wish I had embraced it more instead of feared it.
What advice do you have for students as they look for future careers or future programs to apply to in your field?
Be honest with yourself about what you really want to do. There is a common belief that your dream career or program won’t be what you get first. I tend to disagree with this. Don’t settle for a job just because it is the first one you get. Instead, look for a job or program that will help you get to where you want to end up.
How would you advise a current student to plan for their future?
It is never too early to start building your resume and looking for opportunities to boost your confidence. Whether it’s taking a course or attending a workshop or seminar, even doing these things as a first-year student will help you in the long run. Don’t wait until senior year to start preparing for your career!