Why I Work at Milestone: Sophia Aspin, PT

Hi everyone! I’m Sophia Aspin, DPT, and I’ve been working with Milestone since June of 2020. When you see that date it should probably trigger a question: who in their right mind would be job hunting during arguably the worst time for it in modern history? Me. That’s who! Since these are not ordinary times, I thought I would share with you how it has been working for Milestone, talk about some of the fears and concerns I held as a new graduate coming into the workforce, and ultimately discuss how I found my way at this company in the midst of a full-on pandemic.

My first glimpse

Flashback to May of 2020 when I graduated from Saint Louis University with my Doctorate of Physical Therapy. I was suddenly in a position where I had the degree I had worked so hard for, and I wasn’t sure if there was going to be anyone hiring. During a 2am Linkedin search – the best time for searches of this type, I’m sure you know – I saw a potential job posting with Milestone. It sounded good, but why weren’t they afraid like everyone else? My curiosity was peaked.

I clicked and it led me to their website. After 30 seconds I wanted to work for this company immediately. Their content was amazing, and blog posts included fun information about parenting tips, therapy ideas, and different ways families could advocate for their children. I filled out the contact page for a PT position opening and crossed my fingers.

The very next day they reached out and – BAM – I landed an interview! I was very excited that I was able to interview in person (because – yay, human interaction!) and the possibility of becoming an Early Intervention provider was brought up. I was immediately intrigued and started searching a ton for more information that I simply forgot to ask during my first sit down. When I arrived back at my house I found that EI checked all my boxes. I’d be working with extremely cute itty-bitty kids, connect with families for a longer period of time to ensure they knew how they could truly help their little ones, and since these patients would be young the changes would come much more quickly than with older populations. I knew I wanted in!

Fast forward to now, and I’m a fully-fledged Early Intervention provider with Milestone, and they even let me do a little work at our Olympia Fields clinic as well. I have a number of reasons why I love to working here but I’m going to highlight a few of my favorites.

Feeling supported

When I was officially hired there was no guarantee of a start date considering that I still had to pass my board exam (thanks for the vote of confidence Milestone!) and the pandemic was an unknown influence on anyone’s future. I had a lot of questions about how the pandemic was going to influence starting a new job, and Milestone told me “Don’t worry about the pandemic, we have a plan to support our staff, it will work out.” That confidence is exactly what I needed to hear. The amount of support I received from Milestone once I started onboarding was wonderful. From the Milestone Academy onboarding day, to their “MST Passport” that took me around the world of Milestone, to the 30/60/90 day follow up meetings with my Manager to make sure we were all on the same page, to the company quarterly meetings that helped me understand the bigger picture of what they were trying to do – it all gave me the tools and knowledge base to succeed in these very weird, weird times.

Here, there, and everywhere

Map locations

What I found to be really cool about the company was how many locations and services are offered. They’re all so different from one another. As part of my onboarding Milestone helped me learn what treating in EI was going to be like by providing paid shadowing hours. My supervisor connected me with current physical therapists who worked in Illinois EI, First Steps (in Indiana), and a few of our clinics so I could see the similarities and differences of each treatment environment. With no restrictions, I was able to see first hand what working for Milestone was like. And I loved seeing how much each therapist I shadowed seemed to genuinely enjoy the working environment. I could tell the atmosphere in the clinic was fun, even a bit light-hearted, but each person I worked with was also profoundly dedicated to executing an individualized plan of care that worked for the kids to ensure change over time. Unlike one of my rotations in school, at Milestone the idea of discharge is celebrated, not feared. It was refreshing to see. I also figured MST must care about all of their employees, because everyone I met welcomed me with a smile and, honestly, made me feel like a part of the family. I loved it, and some of my concerns about taking this new job during Covid slowly started to melt away.

Having our backs

Milestone also figured out ways to incorporate employees who had their treatment hours dramatically affected by the pandemic into the company with special projects. I was fortunate enough to be brought on to help build the new website (and continue to help as I’m even writing this blog!) which helped me realize the work I was doing wasn’t just to get by or check a box. I was contributing to something big. I was doing things that were possibly going to reach beyond my two hands. And through it all I got to meet a ton of new people at Milestone, most virtually of course, that all seemed to be focused on putting kids and their families first. I’d heard it said before, but I was actually living it! Milestone found a way to support their employees without direct treatment alone and still maintained a great working environment. What they said at the outset was right:

 “Don’t worry about the pandemic, we have a plan to support our staff, it will work out”.

In closing, I really thought starting a new job at a company during a pandemic would be extremely difficult. I was afraid that the shift to all things virtual would impact my ability to treat my patients, meet coworkers, and get to know Milestone more. The way it wound up — it couldn’t be further from the truth. Milestone Therapy made this very easy for me, and I’m so grateful to continue to be working at this absolutely amazing company!

Interested in joining the team? Contact us!

Written by Sophia Aspin, PT, DPT