2017 graduate growing in her dream job
As she approaches the fifth anniversary of her graduation from Lakeland, Sami Williams is fortunate to already have secured a dream job.
Williams is a pediatric physical therapist at Curative Care Network, which works with children ages birth to three years old in Milwaukee County. She helps babies and toddlers meet their developmental milestones with a focus on gross motor skills.
“I love seeing the progress that kids make to help them participate with their peers and in family activities they couldn’t before,” William said. “I love my co-workers. They bring so many new ideas and provide excellent mentorship to help me grow my knowledge.”
Williams graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a minor in psychology, serving as a student athletic trainer for nearly two years as part of her experience. She said her time at Lakeland inside and outside the classroom prepared her for graduate coursework at Concordia University, Wis., where she completed a doctorate in physical therapy in 2020 while serving as graduate assistant men’s and women’s golf coach.
“Lakeland challenged me and provided me with opportunities for research that allowed me to stand out during the interview and application process,” said Williams, who recently returned to campus to share her story as part of the Science & Technology Colloquium, an event that lets current and prospective students hear from and interact with successful Lakeland graduates.
“It also helped build relationships with likeminded individuals and taught me how to brainstorm together to collaborate on new and big ideas.”
Williams performed at a high level academically and as an athlete at Lakeland. She was named Outstanding Student in Exercise Science and won the Ellen J. Kregel Award, which goes to the athlete with the highest grade point average. She was a four-year standout for the softball and women’s golf teams and was named Lakeland athletics Woman of the Year as a senior.
“It was someplace that felt like home,” Williams said. “Everyone felt like they wanted me to be here.
During her visit to campus, Williams told students she wished she had started internships earlier, and she encouraged them to be inquisitive as they plan their future.
“The professors have all this extra knowledge to share with you, so don’t be afraid to ask questions,” Williams said. “Take advantage of your advisors because they know the path. Once you have an area of interest, go see what someone does to see what the job requires. Get out there and experience it to learn what it’s like and try it.”
As for her future, Williams plans to stay in her current role for the foreseeable future.
“It was a long-shot application because I knew it was my dream job,” she said. “I hope to potentially expand my knowledge in treating children of all ages, but for now I am very happy developing the foundation that helps kids grow and blossom.”