Deepa Vithlani - alumna profile
Less than a year after she graduated from UWE Bristol with a degree in Physiotherapy, Deepa Vithlani is working in exactly the field she wanted and has already bought a place of her own. So the contingency plans she had to travel and work in Bolivia, have had to be put on hold.
Finding her feet
Deepa decided quite early on that she wanted to study medicine. But it was while she was doing some work experience that she realised it was physiotherapy she was specifically interested in. Which is what brought her to Bristol. "The course at UWE Bristol has a good reputation," she said, "and is really well structured".
Part of that structure involved doing lots of different placements and gaining work experience across different areas. And it was the experience Deepa gained from working in a mental health setting that set her on course to where she is today. "I absolutely loved it," Deepa says. "Of all my placements, I found working in mental health the most rewarding."
After she graduated in 2008, Deepa wasn't entirely sure she'd be able to get the job she wanted. So she had a contingency plan. "I'd already decided that if I hadn't found a job in six months, I would go and do some charity work in Bolivia. In fact, I had it all lined up."
As it turns out, those plans fell through when Deepa was offered her ideal job as a physiotherapist in the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust. "I assess and treat patients for their physical problems, but also take into account their mental health conditions and the impact this has on their ability to function," she explains. "It's so interesting to analyse what's wrong and to help people to get mobile again."
Falling into place
Reflecting on how far she's come in such a short space of time, Deepa feels she's been really lucky and, quite rightly, feels proud of what she's achieved. "With house prices so high I never thought I'd be able to buy my own place. But, here I am, with a job I love and a brand-new apartment - all by the age of 23."
And if she has any advice for those considering a career in physiotherapy, it's to "work hard, have confidence in your abilities and aim high - you'll get there in the end".