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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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Advice for Incoming Master’s Students


by Kevin

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Congratulations, you are officially a Trojan or Double Trojan! You have just made one of the best decisions of your life to pursue a master’s degree in occupational therapy from the USC Chan Division! I have no regrets making that same decision two years ago and I cannot wait to continue with USC in the OTD program. This is my last blog as a student ambassador, and I wanted to end this time by passing on some of the lessons I learned during my time in the master’s program. Here are my top three pieces of advice:

Make Time for Fun, Friends, and Family
While the master’s program is not simple walk in the park, it should not feel like a walk through the haunted woods. You are a dedicated student and you deserve to take a breath and relax from time-to-time. Make it a priority to have at least one small, fun or social activity to look forward to each day. Once I start incorporating leisure and family time into my daily schedule, I found myself with little stress and my attention to coursework improved.

Reach Out to USC Faculty, Staff, and Students
The Trojan Family is not just a saying! The faculty, staff, and students at USC will be there for you whenever you need them, all you need to do is reach out. Even if it is not related to the program, there is always someone willing to provide you help or guidance for anything you may need. Specifically, the faculty and staff in the Chan Division have been incredibly supportive and approachable throughout my master’s program. Even now during this time at home, USC faculty members are willing to meet with students individually to discuss their goals and wellbeing. Just as I recommend reaching out to your friends and family, do not forget to make time for your Trojan Family!

Say Yes and Take Advantage of Opportunities in the Master’s Program
The Chan Division will introduce you to many new and exciting opportunities in the field of occupational therapy and beyond. From guest lectures, to innovation bootcamps, to volunteer events, find what interest you and utilize the opportunities the Chan Division has to offer. Additionally, when an opportunity comes along that you were not expecting, adventure out and say “yes”! You may discover a new practice field, a new interest, or a new friend. 

These are my top three pieces of advice coming into this program. While studying is also important, I feel it was these three things that made my experience in the master’s program as amazing as it was. After building my foundation of support and taking new opportunities, I found that the studying came easy and my coursework had more meaning. Congratulations again on embarking on what will likely be one of the most transformative and positive experiences of your life! Fight on!