Apoorva Devendra Deshpande MA ’19
Hometown: Nasik, India
Program: Post-Professional Master’s, Class of 2019
What brought you to occupational therapy?
As a child I always enjoyed pretending to be a doctor, putting on the oversized white coat with a plastic stethoscope around my neck treating my mom who acted like a patient. Since then she hoped and believed that one day my girl will be a doctor. I saw that sparkle in her eyes when we played our make-believe game and I knew I wanted to be a Doctor. Since early on I was imbibed with the importance of higher education. As I grew older I developed an interest in crafts and dance. But when the time came to decide my career I knew I wanted to study science and pursue higher education. With thorough research, I came across Occupational therapy which I thought was a perfect blend of my passion and my hobbies as I could incorporate creativity in science. I felt overjoyed and took admission in OT school and never regretted till date. OT is the best thing that has happened to me.
What area of practice are you interested in?
USC has introduced me to a broader scope of occupational therapy which has helped me to gain newer perspectives and insights. I have taken primary care elective in my spring semester and I loved it. I would really like to work in a primary care setting in the future.
What are some of the occupations you engage in?
I like to travel, dance, watch movies, try different cuisines and have conversations with people.
Tell us about the favorite memory from the program so far?
I think I have cherished every moment of being part of Chan division. This program has given me good friends and memories for a lifetime. One of the favorite moments for me was when Dr. Cermak arranged a dinner at an Indian restaurant. I felt at home when I saw my professors and all my batchmates from different cultural background enjoyed having Indian food. It was a great cultural exchange.
If your childhood had a smell, what would it be?
Alphonso Mangoes! During school days, I had spent most of the summer vacations at my native place where I and my cousins used to eat a lot of Alphonso mangoes (a natural obsession for most Indians during summer). I have a picture of 5-year-old me with mango all over my white dress! The smell of mangoes takes me to my childhood.
What are some small things that make your day better?
I like to spend time with my batchmates, and I love talking to all my professors. I learn new things from them every day. What I enjoy most is my morning tea while I make a call at home. Talking to them reminds me of how blessed I am and give me the courage to fly high.