Hometown:

Los Angeles, CA

Major:

Occupational Therapy

samHow did you decide on your major?
I was a non-traditional OT applicant. I already had an undergraduate degree in athletic training but didn’t know I wanted to do OT until the end of my undergrad program. I had done a lot of clinicals, worked with sports teams and an outpatient experience where we learned about OT and hand therapy. I became really interested in it and since I still didn’t know a lot about it, I shadowed. I saw the difference they made working with athletes.

Why did you choose Mizzou OT?
I worked as a high school trainer and teacher for three years in Pasadena. I taught sports medicine courses and I knew that wasn’t where I wanted to end up. So I became interested in applying to grad school for OT. I was interested in going to a larger university. I expanded my search to the midwest. I got accepted here and to a few other schools. I came for my interview and I fell in love with the campus, the professors who interviewed me, and once I was accepted I knew it was where I wanted to be.

Being from California, I knew what Mizzou was but I had never seen the campus. I had no idea it was so beautiful. That really blew me away.

What do you like about MU OT?
The professors. They care about the students and the learning, not just how they do in class, but as people.  I like the course sequences. The people they accept into the  program with me are now my friends. The students here are a high quality of person, and not just their intellect, but their character. When you’re surrounded by these people I feel like it inspires and encourages you to be that way yourself and shows you why you got into this profession in the first place.

What’s been your favorite class so far?
Lifespan interventions and Assessment and the hand intervention class. They’re very practical and you learn things you will use with patients as well as understand the clinical ramifications.

Did being a non-traditional student make you apprehensive?
I was nervous to start again and of the time commitment and the financial burden of taking out loans. But trusting it is for the right reasons made it easier. I came in and the professors are so great I never had any doubts about the decision.

What are your goals?
I hope to do clinicals back in the San Diego area where my family is in both in-patient and hand therapy. After I graduate I hope to go back to California. But I do l like this community. Columbia is a wonderful place, a welcoming and fun community. The college campus is alive and I enjoy being a part of going to sporting events. You find you’re part of something that’s fin and bigger than you and it’s easy to find your niche and fit in. There are plenty of things to do and find employment and hobbies. It’s just a great college town.

I took a big risk to come out here so far from home, but after a year of being here I feel like it’s all worked out. I have zero regrets, like my life and my school, and couldn’t be happier to be a Mizzou Tiger.