F&M Stories

Success Beyond F&M: ‘F&M More Than Prepared Me for the Next Steps in My Career’

The tremendous success of F&M graduates demonstrates the tangible value of an F&M degree. At F&M, we have an exemplary landing rate. Within six months after graduation, 93% of F&M’s Class of 2023 were either employed or furthering their education.

In this series, we check in with members of the Class of 2023 to learn more about their post-graduate path and how their F&M experience launched them toward success.

Meet Nick Tewell, a biology major and Spanish minor at F&M who is pursuing his doctor of medicine degree at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. As a student at F&M, Nick also was a wrestler and an active member of Brooks College House.

Nick Tewell '23

Nick Tewell ’23

Major: Biology

Minor: Spanish

Pursuing: Doctor of medicine degree at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

What did the first six months after graduating from F&M look like?

Upon graduating from F&M, I began to prepare for medical school and a move to Philadelphia. I temporarily moved back to my hometown, where I commuted to Lancaster to continue working for a local orthopedic practice, Westphal Orthopedics, that I had worked for throughout my undergraduate years. I took advantage of this time to travel and enjoy a short period of relaxation. I also completed summer work and other pre-matriculation requirements, while preparing for a move to a new city. In July, I moved to an apartment in Philadelphia and began medical school at Thomas Jefferson University. Since then, I have been in school studying medicine and integrating into life post-graduation. While extremely busy, I enjoyed moving to a new city and embracing this new phase of my life. I have experienced hours of studying, early mornings in the anatomy lab, clinical hours,  research experiences, and even some Phillies and Flyers games. I became involved in numerous local organizations, including Puentes de Salud, a community health clinic for Spanish-speaking patients; Jefferson Athlete Health Network, which provides free physicals to local high school students; and many other organizations.

How did your F&M experience prepare you for where you are now?

F&M more than prepared me for the next steps in my educational and professional career. Academically, F&M’s challenging curriculum provided a foundational knowledge base and study strategies that resulted in continued success in medical school. The scientific courses at F&M gave me a “step up” in medical school. The diversity of courses offered at Franklin & Marshall — an unquestioned benefit of a liberal arts education — has enabled me to remain proficient in all areas of my studies and to be a well-rounded student. F&M also provided me with numerous interprofessional tools, such as presentation skills, which have enabled me to stand out from my peers. Having such an interactive and participation-focused undergraduate education has helped me to thrive in many of the collaborative learning activities that occur on a weekly basis, such as Case-Based Learning (which teaches medical problem-solving skills using real-world scenarios). In addition, as a former athlete at F&M, I have continued to utilize my time-management skills, which have eliminated academic stress that many of my peers face and allow me to perform my best academically.

“Academically, F&M’s challenging curriculum provided a foundational knowledge base and study strategies that resulted in continued success in medical school.”

— Nick Tewell ’23

How does your current path compare to what you envisioned in your first year at F&M?

I have found myself exactly where I envisioned myself when I began my first year at F&M. I was determined to attend medical school following my undergraduate education. Even at that time, I believed I would end up in one of the region’s major cities, as F&M has outstanding alumni networks and connections in these cities. In fact, I am attending the same medical school as two orthopedic surgeons and personal mentors that I worked for during my undergraduate years, Dr. Thomas Westphal ’75 and Dr. Carl Becker ’87. I can confidently say that F&M’s curriculum and associated opportunities were extremely helpful in achieving my future goals.

Looking back on your college search, why did you choose F&M?

F&M was the best possible combination of resources and opportunities for my future goals. Of all of the colleges I considered, F&M was the only college at the intersection of tremendous academics, Division I wrestling, small class sizes, and medical networking opportunities. F&M provided the extracurricular opportunities of a large university, whether it was in athletics or student organizations, while simultaneously offering all of the benefits of a smaller school. The flexible and accommodating nature of F&M’s professors and administration allowed me to continue to experience success during my time at the college despite several wrestling injuries/surgeries. I can confidently say that without the tremendous support, communication, and resources offered by Franklin & Marshall, my current situation would be different than it is right now.

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