Student Ambassador Blog | Jessica P
Falling in Love with OT
For my first blog post, I wanted to share my story of how I discovered and fell in love with occupational therapy.
Ever since I was young, I always knew I wanted a career that involved helping others, specifically children. At the beginning of high school I volunteered at the local hospital and really enjoyed being in the healthcare setting, but I didn’t know if being a doctor was the right path for me. I heard about a summer camp for children with special needs and decided to be a camp counselor. As a counselor, I was paired one-on-one with my buddy, spending time doing various activities and games which were facilitated by occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists. For the next four summers, I volunteered at the camp and it continued to confirm my passion for working with children.
I knew what I wanted out of a career, but I was still unsure exactly which path to pursue. Deciding to come to USC was an easy choice for me, as I was raised a Trojan from birth and most of my family attended the university. I entered USC as a freshman majoring in Psychology and began to take classes in the Occupational Science minor. I also had the opportunity to shadow a pediatric occupational therapist in an outpatient clinic, which was when I knew occupational therapy was exactly what I wanted to be doing. I decided to transfer into the Bachelor to Master’s Occupational Therapy major as a junior and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, second to coming to USC.
As a progressive degree student, I have had many opportunities to take OT classes as well as courses in areas I am also interested in — such as psychology, human rights, and performance science. I am so grateful to have found a profession that allows me to combine my passions and empower others to live their best lives. I can’t wait to continue to learn and grow as an occupational therapy student and share my experiences with you.