Bachelor of Science in Psychological and Brain Sciences
Social Work and Social Welfare Certificate
Civic Engagement and Public Service Certificate
Letter of Specialization in Developmental Disabilities and Human Services
Current Position Title and Affiliation:
Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate Student at Tufts University
Summary of Position:
Occupational therapy is a client-centered, holistic, and evidence-based field that involves the therapeutic use of everyday activities. We work with diverse clients of all ages and backgrounds in virtually any setting to enable participation in valued roles, habits, and routines. Throughout the first year of my entry-level occupational therapy doctorate program, I have gained fundamental knowledge in anatomy and physiology, neuroscience, child development, aging, clinical reasoning, research, bioethics, and so much more!
In addition to my coursework, I participate in weekly service-learning where I apply everything I learn in class to my work with members of the local community. In future semesters, I will participate in fieldwork and learn directly from licensed occupational therapists in the field. I am also looking forward to further developing my Doctorate Experiential Component and implementing a needs-based project within the community.
What do you love most about this career path?
Occupational therapy is a unique field that focuses on the whole person, rather than one specific area. I love that my training will allow me to address all of the needs of my clients and their families. Occupational therapy is special because a significant portion of our work involves adapting the environment to foster greater participation, rather than changing our clients. I also love the flexibility that comes with a career in occupational therapy and the enormous range of settings I can practice in. Occupational therapists are qualified to work in virtually any setting- hospitals, schools, prisons, homes, clinics, nursing homes, mental health, academia, early intervention, etc. Occupational therapy is growing rapidly, and new practice areas are emerging every day. I am so excited to be part of a field that I can truly make my own!
How did UMass and/or Psychological and Brain Sciences help prepare you?
UMass Amherst and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences could not have prepared me better for my doctoral program at Tufts. UMass Amherst provided me with a range of opportunities to learn more about the field of healthcare, engage in the community through service-learning, and test out different careers until I found one that truly fit. The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences provided me with essential knowledge about working with diverse clients, conducting and presenting meaningful research, and developing my own professional identity.
Tips for Current Undergrads:
Try something new that pushes you out of your comfort zone! Take a class in a different department, try out a new club, or attend a new event on campus. You are surrounded by a wealth of knowledge and opportunities—take advantage of it!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” —Mark Twain