We love checking in with current students to learn about their personal journey, challenges, achievements and advice for their peers. This week we caught up with Wendy Pardiac, an inspiring term 3 student and tutor at CCMH Cambridge.
Wendy originally pursued a degree in Marine Biology and graphic design, but after graduating from university she had a change of heart and decided to return to school and try something new. Wendy and her boyfriend decided to study Massage Therapy at CCMH together, supporting each other through the process. Despite her initial uncertainty about her choices, Wendy embraced the program wholeheartedly, ultimately transitioning from an unsure freshman into an incredible award winning student and tutor in no time. We discussed her experience in our program, her challenges and her advice for current and future Massage Therapy students.
So Wendy, can you tell us about what led you to pursue a career in Massage Therapy?
I became interested in studying Massage Therapy after a few strange events. I had previously gone to school for graphic design and marine biology, after neither career worked out for me I was in a limbo. I was using my graphic design skills to make invitations, advertisements, and gift cards. While working as a waitress I met a cook who asked me to make gift cards for his sister. His sister was a RMT. I accepted, made her gift cards and spoke with her about her career. I thought it sounded very peaceful and fulfilling.
I approached my boyfriend, who at the time was working in construction, and asked him how he felt about Massage Therapy. He was suddenly excited and proceeded to tell me that it had been one of his top career choices in high school, but then immediately dismayed, confessed he wasn’t sure about going back to school after so many years. I convinced him, and with an anxious heart, he left his job and we began school at CCMH together.
That sounds both exciting and a bit nerve wracking! Why did you choose CCMH?
Logan and I chose CCMH because of its reputation, also because once we met the admissions staff, namely Barb Kirby, we couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome, comfortable, and supported. With Logan going back to school after years and years of work, support and encouragement from the staff was a must.
Pursuing a second career is very tough, especially when you’re starting from square one. What did you find most challenging in your journey
Personally, it wasn’t the material itself that I found difficult but the pace, and the sheer volume of material to learn in a short period of time. I also began to tutor and this was very new and stressful to me. Even while having good grades in high school and decent grades in University, I was rarely the one people chose to look up to. I found myself in a completely new environment, with peers who depended on me for support and guidance through the material. It felt like a heavy responsibility, but one I came to cherish and enjoy while introducing a new passion for teaching.
That’s amazing, you went from overwhelmed to tutor! What is one piece of advice you’d give to new students?
For new students, I would say be kind and patient with each other. These people are going to be your “family” for the coming 2 years. You will see them everyday, and you will learn and grow together. Lean on each other for support, not only for the material you learn but for the emotionally draining nights when you can’t muster up the energy to study anymore, or when your peer had a child in the hospital all night. Help each other achieve goals, pass exams, and encourage them to succeed and grasp their newfound confidence. You never know when you yourself might begin to drown, and you will want those hands to help keep you afloat.
Be there for each other through this experience and you will find some good counsel/peers when you graduate and begin your own journey.
That’s great advice! Students should work together towards the same goal, we’re stronger together. What do you see for the future of our industry?
I am excited for the future of this industry, I know before I came to school, not even 10 years ago, Massage was not well known or understood for its qualities and influence in healing as it is today. I can only imagine where we will all be in another 10-20 years time as we are more recognized in mainstream healthcare. I think the general public will really begin to understand the amazing benefit this alternative medicine can provide alongside standard healthcare.
Thank you for speaking with us Wendy! It sounds like you have a bright future ahead in Massage Therapy and maybe even as a teacher!
Are you interested in a career as a Massage Therapist? Learn more about other students who found their path at CCMH by checking out our blog and following us on Facebook and Twitter. Want to share your story? Contact Susy at firstname.lastname@example.org.