Rachel Bae OTD ’25
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea & Los Angeles, CA
Program: Entry-Level Doctorate (OTD), Class of 2025
What brought you to occupational therapy?
My dear friend Lisa introduced me to this occupation while I was preparing for PA school. But, I became more interested after discovering that my friend recovered from her severe hand injury caused by a car accident because of OT! Before I knew about OT, I thought PT mainly handled this kind of injury, but it was intriguing to hear about her therapy sessions with OT, and basically opened a whole new side of therapy for me.
Describe your background before coming to occupational therapy.
I was a non-traditional pre-med student in college. After graduation, I planned to take a gap year, take the MCAT, and work in hospitals and research labs to strengthen my resume. But life threw a curveball at me; I got married instead of applying to medical school and had a baby earlier than we expected. As my daughter grew up, I decided to go back to school with the support of my family. At first, I intended to apply to a PA school, but I changed my career path due to a change of interest in the field.
Tell us about your favorite memory from the program so far.
One of my favorite memories from the program so far is when we went to my friend’s apartment to have a study session! As an older student, I didn’t expect to have so much fun and relive my college life here, but it happened. 😊 I’m very glad to meet everyone I met in this program!
If you could be immortal, what age would you choose to stop aging at and why?
If I could be immortal, I would stop at my age now. The 20s seem too young, and the 40s seem a bit old (sorry :p), but in your 30s, you get to learn from your mistakes from the 20s and have a mindset to listen to the advice and criticisms. Of course, knowing and accepting “everything” is impossible, but I think it is the age when you realize that you can learn and get to understand that much more.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“Everything in this world works based on their time zone. People around you might seem to be ahead of you and some might seem to be behind you. But, everyone is running their own race, in their own time. Do not envy them and do not mock them. They are in their time zone, and you are in yours. Life is about waiting for the right moment to act. So, relax. You’re not late. You’re not early. You are very much on time.” — This quote inspired and motivated me to be where I am today at this age. xD