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Ailene Tam, Massage Therapy


Q: Name? Age?

A: Ailene Tam - 28 years old

Q: Program and year graduated?

A: Massage Therapy, 2015

Q: Why did you choose Humber College?

A: I was in the Film & TV Production program before. I had a great experience with that so I figured why not come back. Humber definitely gives you the hands-on experience you truly need...ESPECIALLY being in Massage Therapy. PLUS the lab and other classes are all mostly located in the newer building.

Q: Which class did you find most beneficial?

A: Definitely Anatomy - ugh my favourite! Phys/Patho comes next, Clinical Skills, Massage Theory, Ethics, ....they were all beneficial.

Q: What do you enjoy about your career?

A: Being able to work with a variety of cases. I believe it's the best way to figure out later on if you'd like to treat a specific population. When you see that you've helped someone feel better or see that you've improved their well-being, it's truly rewarding.

As a contract worker, you're your own boss and you're able to control when you work, where you work, and how you work. You definitely will find yourself in challenging situations but you go at your own pace, and you grow from the experiences!

Q. What advice would you give future/current students taking this program?

A. Understand the content! Understand why/how things work the way they do. Don't just memorize it... You need to be able to explain how muscles work to a client. You also need to explain to them why it takes time to heal (physio aspect).

Knowledge is power when you're chatting with a client. It really boosts their trust into your hands. While you're in school, it's the best place to mess up...don't stress about it, learn from your mistakes - it's what school is for!!! I mean, you may mess up in the real world but you can own up to it and hopefully know how to correct it.

Have fun with your peers! Take the extra effort to learn together as a whole. After all...you may be
working with a team of people, so you need to know how to communicate amongst each other.

Lastly...CONTINUE to learn!

Q. What was the biggest obstacle you faced during your time as a student?

A. LOL... balancing school life and family life. 

Also taking time to take care of myself. During my 2nd year, I fell into high anxiety. All triggered from a health scare, it got better as I kept going. It was tough - but without friends/classmates, supporting teachers, school counselling team (YES we have access to chat with someone) and family...it would have been much harder.

Q. In what ways did Humber prepare you for the work world?

A. I felt that the professors truly put us in mock-life-like situations. Those mock OPs...don't take those for granted! On/Off Campus Internships were an amazing way to open our heads up to see what we could potentially face post graduation.

Q. What opportunities would you urge other students to take advantage of?

A. Chat and get to know your professors, Extra lab time, volunteer opportunities with the athletic department, on/off campus internships, counselling services (if needed), and extra anatomy lab time (work with those muscular dummies)! ...OMG how could I forget, those cadaver labs...pay attention! Not only is it gnarly, but your respect goes up for those who donate their bodies for learning and research purposes.

Q. In your opinion, what are 5 crucial skills needed to preform your job?

A. 1. LISTEN to your client, 2. COMMUNICATE with your client, 3. UNDERSTANDING what you're dealing with and how to approach, 4. STAY FIT, you need your strength and endurance... plus it's a healthy lifestyle, 5. TAKE TIME OFF to avoid burn-out... you're pretty much useless to clients if you're not treating yourself right 

Q. Why Massage Therapy?

A. It was a personal choice of mine. I wanted to be part of health care but nothing as intense as being a Doctor or Nurse...or Surgeon. I also like the thought of sports so then that's when it hit me... I should become an RMT! I'm part of the profession that helps people feel better and I can physically do so without medication! Listen, just because it's not as intense as being a Doctor or Nurse, and you can't prescribe medication (because it's not in our scope), we touch base on another perspective of someone's physical well-being! Doctor's refer to RMTs and PTs ALL the time.

I have no regrets and Humber is the best place to start.

Q. How did your experience at Humber help you find employment after graduation?

A. I found that Humber, itself, is a reputable school for Massage Therapy. GO HUMBER!

In all seriousness though, Humber really gave me a strong platform and confidence that I was ready to succeed out there. 

Like any other job out there, you list down all of what you've experienced in school. Employers out there LOVE "fresh out of school" knowledge.