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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Kristin McConnell MAII ’20

Kristin McConnell MAII ’20

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Program: Entry-Level Professional Master's, Class of 2020

What brought you to occupational therapy?
I learned about occupational therapy from a friend, and having never previously heard of the profession, I was immediately fascinated by its unique role in healthcare. I was drawn to the philosophy of occupational therapy, its client-first values, and the holistic way it defines health and wellness. I have always been passionate about learning other people’s stories, and I love how occupational therapy emphasizes treating the client rather than the diagnosis.

Describe your background before coming to occupational therapy.
I completed my Bachelor’s degree at Tufts University with a major in International Relations. During undergrad, I sought out many opportunities to travel abroad, and I gained experience with NGOs working on human rights issues and economic development. After I graduated, I spent over two years with a consulting firm that offered executive search and leadership assessment and development services to large corporations. Whether working in non-profits or the business world, I was interested in working with people and exploring various ways my career could have meaningful impact.

What area of practice are you interested in?
I’m interested in a lot of different practice areas, and one of the things I love about OT is that I don’t have to know yet! I’m interested in working in mental health and community-based programs. I’m also interested in learning more about Lifestyle Redesign, health promotion, and wellness.

Tell us about your favorite memory from the program so far.
My favorite memories so far have been losing track of time in the Crafts lab, immersed in different projects and chatting with friends. It was so much fun to try out different types of crafts, like woodworking, sewing, and mosaicking.

If your childhood had a smell, what would it be?
Homemade banana bread and freshly cut grass.

What are some small things that make your day better?
A delicious cup of coffee, practicing yoga or meditating, being by the ocean, belting out a song in my car, and catching up with a friend.