Other education: BHSc (Western)
Currrent position: Occupational therapist working with adults who have been involved in motor vehicle accidents who have sustained a variety of physical injuries.
Why I chose Western: I was looking for a field that encompassed just the right balance between health, social, and medical studies. I was really interested in health yet I wanted to understand more about society's impact on individuals' health and vice versa. I knew that I wanted to become a health care professional but I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to be yet and thought that studying at Western would give me a good idea of the different health care professions which it absolutely did.
How my Western experience prepared me for the next steps in my career: During my undergraduate program, I learned about the health care system and the possibilities and constraints within it and what the future of our health care system was appearing to look like. I already knew that I wanted to become a health care professional and to help promote health and help individuals lead healthy lives. During my BHSc program, Western offered a variety of career workshops and resources which I attended and they really helped me in making my decision to apply to Occupational Therapy. While enrolled in the Occupational Therapy program, my clinical placements and professors taught me more than I ever imagined possible within two years. After graduating from the program, my professors and supervisors from clinical placements had an instrumental role in helping me realize what career path was best for me to start with and helped me in my search for employment within those fields.
What I find most satisfying about my career choice: I love being an agent of change and advocating for people's rights in a system which many people find it hard to navigate. It is a wonderful feeling to know that you helped someone function better in their home environment or helped someone return to work after an injury or assisted someone in overcoming a mental health issue and motivating them to engage in the occupations meaningful to them. I also love the fact that occupational therapy is such a diverse field! Occupational therapists work with individuals across the lifespan and in so many diverse practice areas that one can really never get bored of their career. There's always something different to try and new challenges to face so it definitely keeps things interesting and motivates me to keep learning and stay up-to-date.
Best thing about being a student at Western: That there's a Tim Hortons in almost every building so you never go to class feeling sleepy! In addition, I loved the friendly, at-home atmosphere at Western. Not a day passed by where I didn't see a friend or bump into someone I knew. I made a lot of friends that I know will last a lifetime and it really made my experience as a student at Western much more enjoyable.
Advice to future students considering Western: I'm really glad I chose Western. I learned so much and the knowledge I gained prepared me well to make sound career choices and widened my perspective on the health care system and the social determinants of health. If you have an interest in health and the future of our health care in Canada and want to be agents of change, I think you should consider Western and the Faculty of Health Sciences.