Making a Career Switch

Making a Career Switch

Lisa Robinson

Lisa Robinson just wrapped up her first term at WCCMT New West. Lisa made a huge career jump from marketing to wanting to become an RMT and has been reflecting on how our free Bio Prep course helped her prepare and what helped her make it through term 1.

What initially drew you to registered massage therapy?

My background is in marketing, with a BBA in Marketing Management from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Prior to joining this program, I worked for approximately 7 years in not-for-profit fundraising, both for post-secondary education and health care facilities. I enjoyed my time working as a frontline fundraiser and manager of programs at health care institutions, mainly because I felt like I was helping in some way to make a difference in the individual lives of our society. However, I knew I wanted to work first hand with patients and began exploring more directly involved professions, including naturopathic medicine and registered massage therapy. After a great deal of research and programs like WCCMT’s Student For a Day, I made my decision to become an RMT through WCCMT’s program.

How do you feel about your decision now that you’re at the end of term 1?

A career change is a big decision, especially when it requires a vastly different set of skills and knowledge than what you currently have acquired. Prior to the program, and in the initial few weeks of term 1, I had my apprehensions on if switching my profession so drastically was the right decision. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the experience, realizing this program perfectly aligns with my end goal of helping others, while having a flexible and fulfilling lifestyle.

Did you have any prior experience in biology before coming into the program?

I have absolutely no experience in biology, or any science related material for that matter. The last science related course I took was in high school, over a decade ago.

What did you think of free Bio Prep course offered prior to entering the program?

Bio Prep was a great experience for me. I was able to meet prospective classmates, and the core of them are now my closest friends. Besides the relationship aspect, the course was extremely beneficial in preparing me for Term 1’s Anatomy and Physiology (A&P), as the content for A&P is essentially just a deeper look into the topics that we explored. I also had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Nancy Joseph, the Bio Prep and Term 1 A&P instructor. Even though A&P can be a dry topic at times, Dr. Joseph knows how to keep us entertained.

Do you think you would have found Bio Prep as useful if you had done it online instead of in class?

I don’t think it would have been nearly as beneficial to me if I took the course online, instead of in class. This is merely based on my experience of meeting prospective classmates, and learning the material from an instructor that made it not only easier to learn some drier topics, but actually made it entertaining.

Would you recommend Bio Prep to other prospects?

100%. I would have had a much more difficult time in A&P if I didn’t have the baseline knowledge of the subjects as taught in Bio Prep. I’m really thankful that this is a program offered at the school and would absolutely recommend it to prospective students.

What has been your favourite part of the program so far?

There are multiple aspects of the program that have been very beneficial to me professionally and personally thus far. I believe that the sense of community I’ve gained and the sense of accomplishment in excelling in a subject that was so foreign to me at the beginning of the term. Our class is very inclusive, and rich in a variety of cultures, ages, educational and personal backgrounds. I have met amazing people, and as we move through the program we are able to share a sense of struggle and accomplishment that creates an amazing bond between us. In addition, I’ve learned more in such a small timeframe that I could ever fathom I could take in it’s astonishing to see what you can accomplish when you put your full attention into it.

What do you think helped you the most to get through term 1?

Term 1 is nothing short of difficult. You are inundated with a massive amount of information and it’s your challenge to find the best way to absorb it all; which includes doing more than regurgitate the information, but rather having the greater understanding to put the knowledge into action. I owe my success in Term 1 thus far to my ability to allocate a good 80% of my life to my studies (the other 20% is spent sleeping). I also owe it to my family and friends for being so understanding in being ‘missing in action’ from their lives at the moment, and to my amazing classmates for being so collaborative, supportive and willing to help.

 What are you most looking forward to in term 2 and why?

I am looking forward to taking part in an actual clinical environment in term 2. I think this will be monumental in helping us grow our skill-sets by taking the knowledge and baseline skills from Term 1 and utilizing them in a real-life setting.

What advice would you give to someone about to start their first term?

 I would recommend the following things for success in term 1:

  • Take Bio Prep (and really absorb the content)
  • Socialize with your classmates (get to know everyone; they’ll be your family for the next 20 months)
  • Socialize with other terms. Everyone is so willing to help out and I owe great thanks to other terms for sharing their knowledge and assisting in afterhours tutorials.
  • Don’t work while in term 1 (there is no time)
  • Find out what strategies work for you in studying (and make the change right away). It may differ depending on the topic (it did for me)



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