Student Ambassador Blog | Joyce
Sep 6, 2018, by Joyce
For current and prospective students alike, I would urge you to consider an opportunity to complete your level 2 fieldwork outside of sunny state California. Here’s why:
-Experience a New City: this is the perfect time to travel and put yourself out there. I know it can be a scary thought (I’ve moved to two new cities already!). However, if the time isn’t now, then when? I truly believe that as students, we have the flexibility to travel without worrying about taking absence from work or using your paid time off’s. Go eat new foods, explore new restaurants, and meet great people!
-Experience a New Culture: hey, even if you’re still travelling domestically, culture varies by state and even by city. Growing up in NYC, we were always taught to grind and work hard. When I moved to Boston for my undergraduate career, the adjustment was difficult. The culture is slower paced and a lot more preppy, as if you stepped right into a J. Crew Magazine.The city is small and old yet rich with history. Now when I moved to Los Angeles, boy are the vibes different. People brunch at the weirdest times here, obsess over their dogs, and drink an unending amount of kale smoothies. I believe by working in settings outside of LA, especially if you never left LA, you get to experience various cultures and meet people from different walks of life. The more diverse your student experiences are, the more enhanced your clinical reasoning becomes and more refined your therapeutic use of self becomes.
-Experience a Different OT: Having gone through two Level 1 Fieldworks and 1 Level 2, there is a difference between therapists who received their education on the west coast vs the east coast. Because my level 2 was in NYC, I had the opportunity to work with OTs and PTs who completed their degrees in New York. We bonded over deep conversations as we shared the major differences and similarities between programs. In this way, I got to understand their clinical reasoning and their experiences while at the same time sharing what I learned here at USC. Expanding your professional network within the rehabilitation field is another amazing perk of completing your fieldwork out of state!
All in all, I recommend to fill out the out-of-state application HERE and explore the pathways that USC has to offer across the nation
Aug 23, 2018, by Joyce
While you can easily Google the definition of OT, more often than not, you will find that each individual explains OT in unique ways. It goes to show the power of personalization that OT practices. To me… OT is all about taking disruptions in your life and turning them into something beautiful… beautiful disruptions.
What do I mean by that? When I get asked the question, “Why did you choose OT?” I never leave out the story of my grandmother. She experienced a car accident decades ago, before I was born. It was a T5/T6 incomplete spinal cord injury. She was paralyzed from the waist down and as the years passed, the caregiver burden grew and my grandfather could no longer care for her alone. That is when my family decided to move in.
I remember I would use my grandmother’s reacher as my play toy to pinch my little brother. I would also get in trouble riding around in her wheelchair. To society these are representations of disability, weakness, and annoyance. But I saw the little but impactful influences they had on my grandmother’s quality of life.
My grandmother’s accident and injury disrupted my family’s lives. My father had to quit school and my mother was constantly caring for her mother-in-law. Family trips were difficult to plan because at least one of my parents had to stay home to be with my grandmother. Our day-to-day schedule worked around my grandmother’s bowel and bladder movements. As a child, I envied other grandmothers who drove their grandchildren around!
However, these disruptions were beautiful in themselves. I created an important and healthy relationship with my grandparents. Many of my friends grew up without grandparents! All in all, I realized that I am the happiest when I am serving others. This has led me to a career path that sets my heart on fire! This specific disruption brought my family closer as we worked to overcome every obstacle together.
OT guides the individual to take the disruptions in their life (like physical illness, mental health, financial difficulty, medication management, etc.) and turn them into something meaningful, something beautiful, thus turning them into beautiful disruptions.