BSc Sports Rehabilitation student Aaron Laughlin has been all the way to Florida for his placement, arranged whilst studying at the University of Salford. Amazing right?! I spoke to him both about his experience here in Salford, and how he found working with major sports teams over in the USA.
Hi Aaron! Tell us more about yourself…
I was born and raised in Manchester and I’m currently studying for a BSc in Sports Rehabilitation where I’m in my third and final year. My hobbies are mostly sport based, particularly football.
Why did you choose to study BSc Sports Rehabilitation?
I’ve always wanted to have a job where I wake up in the morning and look forward to going to work. I felt that studying Sports Rehabilitation would allow me to get a job in sport and give me the opportunity to pursue a career in a field that I am passionate about.
What made you choose Salford?
I chose Salford due to its reputation for my selected course. The lecturers associated with sports rehab and strength and conditioning are all very well-respected people in the sports community. So that swayed me the most!
The facilities and university location are great too! You have everything you need on campus, great transport links being in the middle of Manchester, and the uni just generally gave a good impression.
How will your degree help you with future career plans?
I aspire to work in professional football one day. Studying sports rehabilitation has given me the knowledge, confidence and motivation to help me pursue such a career. The course has also given me invaluable experiences allowing me to develop myself as an individual. It’s taught me how to be independent, professional and resilient. All things you need when working within sport.
Tell us what an ordinary day at university is like.
A normal day for me would usually start around 7:30am. I’d get myself into university early and go over anything I felt I needed to read, like some research papers etc. Our first lecture or practical class usually starts at 9am and finishes at 11am. After the first lecture we usually have an hour or two break to get some food and then a second practical session starts at 1-2pm. Things chop and change dependent on what part of the semester you’re in, but that’s generally what it’s like. It sounds long winded but it flies by!
Tell us about your placement in the USA!
In July-August of the summer just gone I spent six weeks in Tampa, Florida working with the Major League Baseball team Tampa Bay Rays. It was an amazing opportunity working with elite professionals at the top of their game in the Florida sunshine. I was working in world class facilities, and I was pitch side with the players in games against teams like the New York Yankees. It was an amazing experience all round! It allowed me to develop hugely and gave me great confidence in myself when I got back to the UK.
Have you taken part in any other placements or work experience as part of your course?
I’ve also had placements at other professional rugby and football teams which have been really good. I have a placement with an orthopaedic surgeon in the pipeline too, so I’ve been really lucky with my placement opportunities and locations so far!
What’s been your favourite module on the course?
I’d say my favourite modules on the course personally are human anatomy, manual therapy and functional rehabilitation. They’re the three that interest me the most. Learning about the human body and all its functions in human anatomy, learning different techniques we can then apply to athletes’ treatment in manual therapy and then finally putting all the theoretical concepts together and creating and carrying out rehab programmes in functional rehab.
Why should prospective students apply for your course?
From personal experience, it’s been a really fun challenge for me. It’s developed my skills in many ways, whilst created and opened lots of doors and opportunities in and outside of sport – I couldn’t recommend it more!
What has been the most valuable part of studying at Salford?
My favourite part of studying at Salford would be how enjoyable the course is and the people and opportunities I’ve encountered along the way. The opportunity to go to Florida was amazing, not many people get six weeks in the sun working with pro-athletes as part of their university course. Also just working on placements within an environment I aspire to work in one day, and learning from people who have already made a name for themselves has been second to none.
Thanks to Aaron for speaking with me. He’s a great example of how studying at Salford has given him invaluable experience in a real world environment, whilst having an amazing time doing it!