Podiatrist, Jennifer Griffin Podiatry, Whangarei
Bachelor of Health Science (Honours)
Bachelor of Health Science (Podiatry)
AUT podiatry alumna Jennifer Griffin always had her sights set high. She knew she wanted to one day study for a PhD, and realised the Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) would give her a solid foundation for further study.
“Once I completed my undergraduate degree I decided to enrol in the Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) as I realised it would give me more opportunities to go on to doctoral study one day.”
Being able to complete a research dissertation as part of the honours degree was another drawcard, says Jennifer.
“I wanted to contribute research to the relatively young profession of podiatry, specifically looking at people with rheumatoid arthritis. My honours degree dissertation focused on dynamic postural stability in sandals compared to shoes. I had a great supervisor, who is well-known for his research in the field. Hopefully one day we can make a difference to the quality of life of people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.”
A fine balance
She says she was surprised by how much she enjoyed learning about the theory of research and practical data collection.
“I thoroughly enjoyed learning about different research techniques and the philosophy around them. I also loved collecting data and talking to our participants. By learning about them, I learned more about myself and how to become a better practitioner.”
She also appreciated the flexibility AUT offered her.
“AUT enabled me to work part-time while completing my honours degree, and was also very flexible in how I chose to complete my dissertation. This really helped me fit study around my work,” she says.
A smooth transition
After completing her Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in 2014, Jennifer spent several years in Brisbane, working as a podiatrist for a private health practice.
“Transferring my skills from New Zealand to Australia was a very smooth transition. I learned so much during my time at AUT – manufacturing and designing of orthotics, and diagnosing injuries, infections or biomechanical problems. Most importantly, I learned to relate and help all kinds of people – of all ages, from all backgrounds and with different abilities.”
She recently returned to New Zealand and now lives in Whangarei where she works as a podiatrist and runs her own biomechanical/orthotic business.
She says she would highly recommend AUT’s podiatry programmes to others.
“Throughout my studies I made lifelong friends, expanded my knowledge of podiatry, contributed to research in this growing field and was able to continue playing hockey alongside my studies. I also got to compete for AUT in the Australian University Games.”