In my preparation for becoming an occupational therapist, I have involved myself with many different experiences.
I worked on the STRONGKids2 research team with Dr. McBride, developing operational definitions for research. I helped write our research paper and created our poster for the SRCD 2019 Conference. HDFS professors all express a strong desire to see us succeed; this was made clear to me when Dr. McBride offered me these great experiences and wrote me a strong letter of recommendation for OT school.
Through the HDFS 450 class, I interned at the Stephens Family YMCA working with people with special needs. I had a great experience working as an OT in aquatic therapy, handwriting therapy, and inclusion services. This has given me a big advantage over other applicants in the OT programs, and has helped me achieve admission to Washington University’s Occupational Therapy program.
Other than internships and research, I recommend keeping note of your experiences in the classroom. In your HDFS courses, you will conduct research in the Child Development Lab. This absolutely counts towards your experiences when you apply for graduate school programs. I recommend keeping note of these experiences and hours so you can use them in applying for graduate schools.
My three most important things to remember when applying for graduate school programs are “be involved,” “everything counts as experience,” and “make yourself remembered.”
I wish you the best of luck!