OS/OT Student Blog
New beginnings →
May 16, 2013, by Alisa
Leave a comment
I can’t believe that I’m writing my last blog. I am graduating tomorrow.
Is this real life? Yes, I tell myself that it is really happening. I’ll be graduating from USC once again, but now, for my Master’s. It seems like yesterday that I was in undergrad, not completely sure what I wanted to do with my life.
I have found a profession that I’m excited to be a part of and that I know I could empower others while empowering myself.
This year has gone by so fast, and as I’m reflecting on the year, I’m actually feeling a bit sad. I have met so many great and genuine people, and I truly believe that in the OT program, I get to interact with those people everyday. I love my professors, I love my classmates, I love my co-workers, I love my friends I love my dogs. What more could I ask for?
I will miss leading tours for prospective students. I will miss the foods and snacks that my classmates bring in to share. I will miss yoga on the lawn during lunch hours. I will miss group projects. I will miss listening and talking to classmates. I will miss the compassion of the people in the program.
But I know those memories don’t have to end as we walk off the graduation stage. We can continue to check in with each other. We have various ways to do that, thanks to social media (I’m still a fan of snail mails). We have created a network of the Trojan family for life, and for that, I am grateful.
With every ending has a new beginning.
Monday I’ll start my last level-II fieldwork at the Veteran’s Hospital for 12 weeks. I’ll be working with people with traumatic brain injury. I’ll be pursuing my clinical doctorate degree in the fall and starting my residency at USC University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in pediatric mental health. I’m super excited about that as well. Although I don’t have a lot of experience with children, I’m ready to learn. So I’ll be keeping myself busy in the summer and starting to study for the NBCOT exam. Come fall I’ll be a licensed occupational therapist! Woohoo!
Looking back →
May 3, 2013, by Kendra
Leave a comment
I cannot believe nearly two years ago, I was walking the halls of USC for the very first time. Then I was nervous, will they like me? I hoped I’d made the right decision with USC. And I hoped above all else that Occupational Therapy was the career path for me.
Fast forward two years and I could not feel more confident I chose the right school and right profession, and I also made some friends along the way!
Last week at AOTA Conference, it was like prom. It was the final weekend with peers I’ve grown to love and professionals I respect. I felt empowered and excited, exactly what I need as I transition to the real world.
USC has been such a blessing. The program, the faculty, the students, everything has come together to create an ideal learning experience for me. This is my final post as an OSOT Ambassador. One of the highlights of my time at USC has been this job. It has been as fundamental to my OT education as quantitative research and clinical reasoning. Working for the Division, I’ve been able to get to know the professors better and grow confident talking about OT to all people. I see OT in everything and do not hesitate promoting our profession to any one who will listen. I will treasure this experience for the rest of my life.
I’ve talked a lot about being from Texas, and naturally I’m full of Texas pride. When I chose to attend USC, you can imagine I got a little pushback from Texans, and I too was hesitant to embrace the notion of being ‘a part of the Trojan family.’
Not anymore. I’m so proud to be a Texan AND a Trojan. Go USCOT! and Fight on!
Conference and pageant →
May 1, 2013, by Alisa
Leave a comment
Yes, I made it to my last class as a Master’s student! In Lifestyle Redesign class today, I facilitated my healthy eating group on the topic of superfoods. I hope to work in health and wellness in the future, perhaps owning my own business and implementing Lifestyle Redesign concepts into my practice. I learned a lot from the group members and added to my OT toolbox. I few more hurdles to jump before I graduate. I can’t believe it.
I’ve never felt more tired and sleep deprived until this week. Grad school isn’t easy, but it’s manageable. This past weekend I attended the American Occupational Therapy Association Conference in San Diego. This was my second conference I attended. One perk about attending USC OT Program is that the division sponsors a number of students to attend these conferences, and I was fortunate enough to be one of the students chosen to attend! I realize how small and big the OT community is. I ran into my past supervisor and met my future supervisors there. I also ran into a student from Samuel Merritt University who presented a poster on oncology there as well. I remember hanging out with her last year at the conference in Indianapolis. I also saw a student from CAL State Domiguez Hills who did fieldwork at the same place as me last summer. That’s not it. I also ran into a prospective OT student whom I had given a tour to earlier in the semester. The conference is open to everyone!
I also met new people as well…in the jacuzzi. I met three wonderful USC Ph.D graduates, who now hold faculty positions at universities across the U.S. One of them in particular, Dr. Pollie Price from Utah, co-authored one of my favorite articles that I’ve read! I remember reading the article Mother Becoming: Learning to Read Mikala’s Signs by Pollie Price and Stephanie Miner in my clinical reasoning class last year and how I really enjoyed it. A lot of the articles and books that we read in class also come from our very own USC faculty, so I feel that I’m very fortunate to have picked the best school to go to.
I was sad that I had to miss the Alumni Reception at the Conference because I had to come back early and prepare for Miss Thai New Year Pageant. I volunteered to help out the temple by participating in the pageant. This was my second pageant (the first one I had done last year just for the heck of it). I ended up helping the temple raise close to $1,000 by selling balloons at the event. The total amount raised by all of the participants were close to $2,000. It was amazing to know that there was so much support and joy at the event. There was also a talent show portion that I was very surprised to have gotten second place for singing Tian Mi Mi, a classic Chinese song. The last portion of the pageant was to dress in a Thai traditional dress and pose. How hard could that be right? It was actually a pain to figure out how to best wear the traditional dress, but without the support from family, friends and strangers, I wouldn’t have survived the event. I ended up getting dehydration and a headache that lasted two days afterwards, but to know that I’ve helped a great cause in raising money for the temple, I am grateful.
Final Post! →
Apr 29, 2013, by Amber
Leave a comment
After an action-packed year serving as a student ambassador for this wonderful Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, I am excited to say that today is my last day! I came into the office this morning happily exhausted from spending the past five days in San Diego at the AOTA Annual Conference. Over 200 individuals from USC OT traveled to the conference to learn, network, and celebrate our wonderful profession. It was an impressive turnout, contributing to this being the 2nd largest AOTA conference in history! There was so much to see and do that at many times it felt overwhelming. The sheer number of educational sessions provided something for everyone in every practice area. The networking opportunities were fantastic, and the addresses were inspiring. The keynote speaker this year was Aaron Ralston, the adventurer who amputated his own arm to free himself from entrapment in a remote canyon in Utah. He was introduced by his OT, who spoke about her treatment of this unique case. When Mr. Ralston came to the stage, he said that he truly loved occupational therapy and unveiled a USC OT pin which he wore throughout his speech! It was very special to be present for our own Dr. Florence Clark’s farewell address as AOTA President, and to feel the pride of hundreds of Trojans at the USC Alumni Party.
Although I am continuing on at USC to pursue a doctoral degree, I still feel that this moment is an enormous milestone. This is my last week of classes, and I have a major project due in each one. Finishing up these tasks will keep me very busy this week. Then, this weekend I will immerse myself fully in studying for our comprehensive exam, which covers the foundational coursework from the entire program. After Monday’s comprehensive exam, I will gear up for my last final examination on Thursday and our Division’s end of the year celebration on Friday. I have spearheaded the planning of this celebration, which will take place on a privately chartered boat in Long Beach. After the boat celebration, I will spend a long weekend away in beautiful Ojai with special friends I have made in the program that are moving away right after graduation. I will return from Ojai just in time for my family to arrive from Northern California. I graduate with my wonderful class on Friday, May 17th, and start fieldwork thw following Monday.
It has been wonderful holding this position over the past year, and I feel grateful for all the wonderful people I have met and the opportunities I have been given. To everyone that has read this blog, thank you for your support!
Your student ambassador Amber signing off!
Am I ready? →
Apr 24, 2013, by Kendra
Leave a comment
Last week while busily adding my part to crazy long study guide for our comprehensive exam in two weeks, it dawned on me: I’m graduating from OT school next month.
After having to take a series of deep breaths to get my heart rate back to normal I asked myself, am I ready to be an Occupational Therapist?
Good thing I was working the OT booth at the LA Times Festival of Books the next day or I may have spent my weekend submerged in graduation themed anxiety. At the booth we had several different stations: Sensory Integration, Lifestyle Redesign, Low Vision, and Stress Management. Each of us was so busy unpacking supplies, it felt it was a matter of minutes before people started arriving asking us questions about stress, relaxation, anxiety, depression, the list goes on and on.
Here I surprised myself again, I was able to answer their questions! Not just that but I felt confident in what I was saying, that what I was telling them was based on research and facts and information I’d learned in OT school.
Suffice to say, I slept easier that night with the faith in myself that not only am I ready to graduate with my Master’s in Occupational Therapy, but that I am well informed and prepared to be an effective, insightful therapist.