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"What makes this program different is the program's culture and how it felt that we were a family, and we all worked together as a team to succeed. It is a smaller program and that gave me better access to my professors and peers."
During fall 2017 while attending Chestnut Hill College for my bachelor's degree, a fellow student who also wanted to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy (OT) shared the information to me about Gwynedd Mercy University's new Occupational Therapy program.
What made it exciting is that it was the perfect timing to apply to the program and hopefully be part of the first OT class. I knew GMercyU was a great school. The next step was to research the university to learn more about its history and mission.
The mission resonated with me because I knew it could guide my professional development both professionally and personally. After all, it helps guide students for successful careers and meaningful lives in a global society.
I applied for the program, and toward the beginning of 2018, I received a letter for an interview. A month after my interview, I received a call from our director Dr. Mernar accepting me in the OT program, and my grad school journey started in May 2018.
My experience in the Occupational Therapy program has been both challenging and rewarding. Attending this program for me was challenging because I would go to school Monday through Friday and work every weekend.
During my first semester, I struggled to find ways to be successful as a student and still work to provide for myself. I remember taking my first exam, and I failed miserably and cried because, at that point, I felt like giving up and thought maybe this path was not the best choice for me.
What kept me going is how supportive the professors were, guiding me to succeed in the OT program. They allowed me to ask as many questions that I may have, allowing me to spend extra time after office hours, and being there as part of my support system. I shared notes and study guides with my peers, joined study groups, and called my peers whenever I felt overwhelmed, which was beneficial and rewarding.
What makes this program different is the program's culture and how it felt that we were a family, and we all worked together as a team to succeed. It is a smaller program and that gave me better access to my professors and peers.
Our learning outcomes for the OT program align with the University's mission and core values of integrity, respect, service, and social justice. These are the values we need while delivering service to our future clients. For example, learning outcome number two talks about a client-centered practice that is inclusive of client cultural values, beliefs, needs, and abilities. As a future OT, I must provide and deliver services that are client-centered and to show respect towards our client's culture, beliefs, and needs.
I am completing my second level two fieldwork at Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center (CHOC) and am expected to graduate in December 2020.
After graduation I hope to pass my boards, move to Florida, and get a job at a skilled nursing facility. Moving to Florida has always been part of my goal once I pass my boards and become an OT. Living there will have me closer to my family, and I love the weather. Once I am in Florida, I hope to get hired at a skilled nursing facility because I want to work with the geriatric population.