Alex Beechey, Senior MSK physiotherapist in Herts Valleys was TUPE’d over to Connect in January 2018.
He describes the positive challenges of working at Connect, and how it’s given him the perfect foundation for his career.
I wouldn’t have progressed this quickly within 9 months of my career, anywhere else.
It was sport that sparked my interest in physiotherapy and rehab
I have dual British/Cypriot nationality and compete at a high level in both countries in the 100 and 200 metres track events. I’m currently ranked number two in Cyprus and received a silver medal in the Nationals; I am awaiting confirmation of funding and hope to have earnt an international selection for the 2019 athletics season. This will help to be considered for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
I was really inspired by the physio at Torpoint Athletic Club, near Plymouth
I was always a natural at football and used to play consistently at semi-professional level. The physio at the club was great; she had a fantastic relationship with all the players and I really admired the way she worked. I saw a lot of her because of my repetitive shoulder dislocation injuries, but unfortunately my A level grades didn’t allow me to do a physio degree at that point.
I was a Sports Science undergraduate
After graduating I found it hard to take the next step. I was still involved in athletics for fitness and as a hobby at this point, so I moved onto a year-long internship in Strength & Conditioning at Loughborough and Nottingham Universities where I was able to work with elite athletes.
After this I went back to my roots in Cornwall and worked as a PE teacher in a primary school
I really enjoyed working with the children, building a special bond and becoming a role model to seek advice from. It also allowed me the flexibility of school holidays to continue to develop my ever improving athletics career. However, it came to a crunch point where I needed to decide whether to continue teaching and gain my PGCE or pursue a career in physiotherapy, for which I still maintained a long term interest. I’d done some shadowing in an outpatients’ clinic and this helped me to make my decision; I took a Master’s Degree in Physiotherapy at Southampton University.
I have a passion for both sport and work, and I’m fortunate to be in a career when one can feed the other
My athletics at the moment is reaching a new level where I am required to train for six days a week with some sessions lasting up to 5 hours. I have learnt so much in my athletics that I have been able to translate across into my work and if there’s something I’m not sure about, I’m keen to go away and learn more about it – after all, knowledge is power!
I thrive on being busy; I’m very driven and it’s a bit addictive
My week is pretty full-on, with just Saturdays as a completely free day where I am able to relax and enjoy other parts of my personal life. Whether this relates to personal life or work life, it’s the opportunity to do better and achieve more that motivates me.
After I’d achieved my Master’s I was accepted for the first job I applied for
It was unusual as when I joined the Trust I was there for just a week before being TUPE’d over to Connect. I sensed some resistance to change from some employees who’d been there longer and I could completely understand this but as I was new, I was more focused on learning and starting my career as best I could.
Connect gives you support, development and opportunities to progress
I was straight into an environment where the Herts Valleys team consisted of experienced clinicians. This had its positives where I was able to learn very quickly. Connect offered an Advanced Development Programme course for those whom were newly graduated, and it was great to be able to work with people at the same level and bounce ideas off each other, with professional guidance always on hand. It gave me a clear structure combined with great learning opportunities such as working through case studies with other ADP students in central London.
I love the variety in my work
I can be in different locations, whether it be a rehab gym, a GP surgery, a hub site with face to face clinics or on PhysioLine. It perfects my skills in slightly different areas of my profession and keeps me stimulated from day to day in my typical week. It’s pretty fast paced, but I think that helps you become more skilled to do a good job in the time you have got.
One of the best things about Connect is the respect for my athletics
They seem to appreciate that it informs what I do and also gives me a good work/life balance. They understand that working with different commute times has an important baring on being able to make training. This all helps me to enjoy life and give my best professionally. Generally if you are happy, everything seems better and things flow in life.
There’s an opportunity to progress and plenty of benefits
Connect is very good at investing in progression and development, whether professional or personal, and we’re encouraged to apply for senior roles. As a result, I am pleased to have been offered the role of Senior Physiotherapist.
Whether I aim to go right to the top or go up the ladder elsewhere, it’s a brilliant way to develop my career from the beginning.
We also receive other benefits like having a day off on your birthday and getting a prize voucher for winning employee of the month.
If you’d like to find out more about working at Connect, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
You can download Alex Beechey’s Story here