MS in Occupational Therapy student Corinne Grant recently detailed her path to OT and her tips for prospective students.
My name is Corinne and I am currently a third-year student in the MS Direct Entry OT program at SSU (Salem State University). After completing my undergraduate degree, I spent several years working and wanted to find a career I would love. I came across occupational therapy as a growing field and was immediately drawn to the profession and the variety of opportunities to work in several areas. While researching graduate schools, I kept hearing good things about the OT program at SSU from a few practicing OTs. I also found it to be one of the more affordable options in comparison to other programs in the Boston area.
I do not have a background in OT and discovered I really needed to plan and make sure I met the prerequisite requirements. I even had to defer a year due to some emergency complications. The program coordinators were wonderful in accommodating my situation and making sure enrollment was a smooth process.
I really appreciate several aspects of this program. They are one of the only programs in the area offering part-time evening classes so I can work during the day. Due to smaller class sizes, there is a lot of opportunity for one-on-one discussions with professors, which has enriched my understanding of the OT profession. I have also loved my fieldwork experiences thus far in both community and outpatient settings. During a recent fieldwork placement, I had the opportunity to participate in adaptive sports. I was able to be part of a team in supporting an individual with a spinal cord injury try adaptive kayaking. It was such an exciting opportunity to help support individuals in doing the activities they love.
This program requires a great deal of work and flexibility, however as you begin to observe and participate in fieldwork, all the demanding work comes together and is extremely rewarding, especially as you see the positive impact on the lives of individuals you work with.
Top tips for applying
- I highly recommend observing with an OT in-person or at least speaking with one, to make sure this is the field for you!
- Ask questions! If you are unsure about any part of the application process, the graduate admissions team is here to help.
- Make sure to have professional references (a good reference can go a long way).
- Spend time on your personal statement, this is where the OT team gets to hear your voice. Make sure to have someone else review your paper.
Best wishes for all your future endeavors!