University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Academics
Academics

Entry-Level Professional Master of Arts Degree | Meet the Students

Naoya Nick Ogura MAII ‘16

Naoya Nick Ogura MAII ‘16

Hometown: Mountain View, CA/Tokyo, Japan

Program: Entry-Level Master's, Class of 2016

What brought you to occupational therapy?
I initially learned about occupational therapy in undergrad, when a good friend of mine who was attending OT school at the time mentioned that I would be a good fit for the profession. I didn’t think of it much then, but I came across OT again as I was exploring career paths after graduation. I decided there was no harm in giving it a try, so I volunteered at a few sites. The more I learned about the profession, the more I was sold on the concept of using meaningful activities as a medium for wellness promotion - that’s how I fell into this program!

What are some of the occupations you engage in?
The most important occupation that has shaped and defined me is dance. I started hip hop almost on a whim back in high school, and haven’t stopped since. It has taught me more than just movement - dance allowed me to grow as a person and as a leader, and brought phenomenal people into my life. I was introduced to OT through a dance friend, so I guess dance led to finding OT too!

I also have many “someday maybe” occupations lined up… including getting better at surfing, playing the ukulele, learning the saxophone, woodworking, and pottery. There never seems to be enough time to do all the things I want to do.

Tell us about your favorite memory from the program so far.
I’ve created so many great memories with my friends in this program, so it’s definitely hard to just pick one - but if I had to choose, it’ll be Memorial Day during my first Level II fieldwork in Hawaii, at the Lantern Floating Festival. Friends and families decorated lanterns with messages for their loved ones, which were then released to the ocean. We saw thousands of these lights drifting towards the horizon as the sun set behind the mountains. Words really can’t do it justice. The air was thick with emotions, and I can still feel the serenity that engulfed that night. It made me appreciate how occupational therapy allows me to spend my time on this planet helping other people, alongside colleagues who are patient, loving, and just plain awesome!

If you could choose anyone (living or dead) to be your mentor, who would you pick?
Elon Musk! So he can take me to the moon!!! Does that count as mentorship?

How do you want to be remembered?
As a patient, loving, non-judgmental person!