Last spring, I applied for the PSU Alumni Association Scholarship, not knowing how influential it would be for me. This fall, I was chosen as the scholarship recipient and at the scholarship awards dinner I expressed my career goal of earning my master’s degree in prosthetics and orthotics. At the event, I was fortunate enough to meet PSU alumnus Jim Goss. Jim mentioned that his close friend owned Next Step Bionics and Prosthetics, a practice I had been aware of and dreamed of working for since I became interested in the field. This is a large prosthetics practice in Manchester, NH.
Jim invited me to accompany him to a meeting at Next Step, where I met Matt Albuquerque, the owner and president. When I arrived, Jim warmly welcomed me into the facility like an old friend would do. We started the meeting with an in-depth tour of the facility and onsite lab led by Matt.
I observed the workplace and asked questions I had never had the chance to ask before. Afterwards we all sat down and discussed both my career and graduate degree paths over coffee.
I had been feeling rather intimidated by the application process and Matt put me at ease, instilling confidence in my ability to earn my master’s degree. During the visit, this company president took over two hours out of his day to give me a tour, learn about my career goals, and offer some very valuable advice. I left my visit at Next Step feeling energized and hopeful for the future. As I am in the beginning of my senior year, I am starting off feeling supported by not only my family and the school, but other professionals in the field.
None of this would have been possible without Jim Goss and the PSU Alumni Association. This experience exceeded my expectations and afforded me the opportunity to build a relationship with a very influential practitioner in the field. I am so grateful and could not have done it without the Alumni Association. Attending a small school like Plymouth State has opened doors for me that I did not know even existed.
Kate Martin ’19, an exercise and sport physiology major, is from Westmoreland, NH. When she isn’t studying or working as a camp counselor and ski instructor, you can find her playing soccer, running, hiking, and skiing the local mountains.