Where are they now: catching up with men behind The Knowbodies Talking Podcast; Megan Mitchell, SPT
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down and chat with Will Boyd and Nick Bracciante of The Knowbodies Talking Podcast. Will and Nick are recent graduates from University of Pittsburgh’s DPT program. Read below to find out how they landed their first jobs, what they have gained since starting the podcast, and advice they have to offer current students.
Will (Left) and Nick (Right) graduated in December 2016, passed their boards in February and then waited 5 months before starting their new positions. Why did they wait so long? According to the guys, they wanted to wait for the perfect job opportunity for them.
Will: Our big thing was we were looking for jobs that would be a good fit for us. In the beginning, we were both looks for jobs in Pittsburgh. I had interviews and job opportunities but just found that the pay was brutal in Pittsburgh. We kept waiting for THE opportunity.
Will ended up staying in Pittsburgh and taking a position offered to him by one of his mentors as a Home Health PT. Nick moved back to Philly, partially because the pay was more (We all have those student loans to pay off.)
Nick explains what he learned from his job search.
Nick: The recruiting experience was a whole new world to me. It was a different sense of professionalism and yet you knew it wasn’t something you should sink your teeth into. I was finding out some interesting things about a couple of different corporations about the way their processes work at their clinics. It wasn’t until I had a conversation with some of the folks I interviewed with that I realized there are consequences that come with using a recruiter. Sitting down with my interviewers and listening to them say “You know I think this is a good fit. I think everyone liked sitting down and learning from each other. However, the fact of the matter is that you are a new grad, you have inherent risk and although we would love to pay you the asking salary of $65-70,000, our hands are tied to this recruiting agency. If we hire you, because they found you, we would have to spend an extra $15,000.” So, you end up turning into a $75-80,000 a year employee. For good or bad I would never have known this. I think it’s important to know if you are looking to go into a new area that it is a business and there are money incentives so just be aware of that.
Will was fortunate enough to land a position from one of his mentors. When asked how this came to be, this is how he responded:
Will: He [the mentor] is an associate professor at another program in Pittsburgh and came to give a guest lecture on pain science. I really connected with the way he presented the information. That semester we had Fridays off to study, so after his lecture, I simply went up to him and asked if I could shadow him.
The mentor’s genuine enthusiasm is what led Will to shadowing his practice for several Fridays during that semester.
Will (continued): And then he became a mentor to me. He helped us get the podcast started, he was actually our first real guest on it. I just kept in touch and would go and meet up on occasion. It turns out he works for multiple companies. Most recently I had reached out to him to meet for coffee to talk about what I should do for my career. When I met with him, he presented a sponsorship opportunity for the podcast without us even asking and mentioned if I wanted a job that I should be in touch because he thought there might be something opening up.
It was all through going up and asking, “Hey can I come shadow you on a Friday?”
You just never know what happens if you ask.
Owning a podcast has given Nick and Will the opportunity to pick the brains of some amazing healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs. Did having that experience somehow make them more critical about what position they wanted?
Nick: I definitely learned more from the podcast than I did from anywhere else about how to engage, connect and communicate with people in this setting. It was an educational process that Will and I leveraged to gain insight from professionals that we looked up to as experts in their field. We were able to use their information and knowledge to implement it in our world to figure out ways through this unknown territory of recruiters, the different types of outpatient and home health opportunities, for profit corporations and for nonprofit corporations.
Will: Nick and I probably would have ended up taking different roles because we wouldn’t have been exposed. Before the podcast I didn’t have any idea about finding people in the PT space on social media. Just starting the podcast eventually led to us finding guys like Ben Fung who really breaks down the math about here’s why you should negotiate a salary. The podcast even led to a fellowship opportunity that I hadn’t even applied to. I don’t think I would be anywhere near where I am now if it wasn’t for the podcast.
So what direction do you they see the podcast going now that they are working PTs?
Will: I don’t even think we had a vision when we started and I still don’t think we have a clear vision. We just wanted to talk to people to learn more and share information. Nick and I try to play the dumb student, which isn’t hard for us to play, to ask those questions [related to health and healthy living] because we think that there are so many people that have those questions and although we could talk at a scientific level, that would exclude a whole group of people that don’t speak that language but could benefit immensely from the information.
Nick and I have become major believers in prevention and wellness. Although those are the new buzz words, to us it is more than that, it is about how do we get a behavioral change. It’s rough because our questions have changed. At first, I wanted to be a great orthopedic manual therapist, but through the podcast I’ve come to realize although it’s a great tool to have, it’s not how you change someone. You can change their symptoms but that’s not how you change someone into being a healthier individual. We need to guide them with knowledge and different ways of thinking things if we want a substantial impact. I think the direction of our show will always be a reflection of where we are in our own lives and what we are currently interested in.
When asked what the hardest part of having a podcast is and what advice they would give to current students about starting their own projects, this is how they responded:
Nick: Time. We’ve been fortunate that we are good buddies and not just a professional business. We’ve mastered a system of speaking and recording. That doesn’t take that much time but the engagement and coming up with quests and continuing the relationships, that takes time. But, the benefits that have come from meeting the people that we have been worth it. So much more has changed in the past year because we’ve started the podcast.
Will: The more you do it the easier it is and it becomes a system. I am a big believer in you just have to start. The longer you delay in starting the more you come up with excuses and barriers or reasons to convince yourself that you’re not the one to do it. We all go through that, but the reality is that the market will be the one to dictate whether you should do it or not. The market will decide. Me telling you that it won’t work means nothing if 7,000 other people really want to hear what you have to say. Being dedicated and committed that you want to do it is more important than should you do it or not. The best thing you can do is start because you could always stop. It is so much harder to start than it is to stop. If you can get over that hurdle the rest is fair game.