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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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Second-year Students Are Here for You Too!

Liz


by Liz

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The end of my second year as a master’s student seems so close, yet so far away. So exciting! I feel as though it was just yesterday that I moved out to Los Angeles and sat out on the CHP patio waiting for orientation to begin. As I reflect on how close I am to the end, I can’t help but think about all of the wonderful support I’ve received these past two years.

Something that is unique about our program is how willing our faculty is to support their students. Check out Calvin’s most recent blog post about finding faculty mentorship—he has some great tips! With everything going on and classes being held virtually I can imagine how difficult and intimidating it might be to reach out for mentorship at this time. Another good place to start is to reach out to students! I can say so from experience.

Last year I was seeking more than just attending class, studying for exams, and working on things I felt like I HAD to do. Fortunately enough, our very own Daniel Padilla made an announcement on our Facebook page regarding a program he and his colleague, Ceci, were leading together—Vivir Con Diabetes. In his announcement, he expressed his hopes of recruiting some student volunteers to help with his program. The program was designed to cater to the needs of the Spanish-speaking community of Boyle Heights, many of whom are low-income. The main goal was to improve the diabetes management of this population by improving their habits and routines, all while providing culturally sensitive interventions.

Immediately I was intrigued! This program was something that really hit home for me and a way in which I felt as though I could give back to my community. This is something that I am really passionate about. I immediately thought about my grandmother who always thought the best way for her to improve her diabetes management was by replacing regular coke with diet coke. Sounds silly, I know. But, she really believed this! I thought, if I could give back to the community in any way and work with people like my grandma I would. So, long story short—I volunteered. Now that Daniel and Ceci are onto bigger and better things, I am leading these sessions along with one of my best friends in the program, Stephanie.

I consider Daniel to be one of my mentors! Because I reached out to him due to my interest in this program, I’ve been able to take the lead on it this year. He also provided me with a lot of support as I applied for the OTD a few weeks ago by looking over my resume, practicing some interview tips with me, and in general has been nothing but great vibes! Daniel if you’re reading this, you’re awesome!

While applying for the OTD I also reached out to Marylin. I was nervous to do so given that she is now at her residency site, full of work and other responsibilities. But, she took the time after her long work day to also give me some feedback on my resume. I appreciated that so much! I thought, “Wow, even after a long day of work she still set aside an hour to help me out!”.

What I am trying to get at here is that students who are farther along in the program are also very willing to provide some support for you all. I can think of 7 off the top of my head: Savi, Calvin, Bethany, Yna, Lamoni, Daniel, and myself. If there’s any way in which we can support you, help you connect with faculty, and/or serve as mentors for you to grow while you’re here we are more than happy to do that. So, if you’re nervous to reach out—don’t be! Us second-year and alumni folks are so willing to help. With that said, please feel free to send me an email at any time to chat about school or anything in general!

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