It’s officially 2015, and that means many occupational therapy students are gearing up for interviews at OT schools across the country. I went through the interview process less than a year ago, and I hope this post will help prepare you (and calm your nerves) if you are about to go through the same thing.
There are three sections with advice on what to do before, during, and after your interview day that I hope will give you useful information about the occupational therapy graduate school interview process!
Today I had an informational interview with a college sophomore who wants to become an occupational therapist someday. It was a really great conversation, and talking with her about OT really just helped me reaffirm my love for this field, my passion for promoting occupational therapy, and informing others about the wide variety of ways in which OTs can support a client.
While talking with “Sarah,” I was able to answer a lot of questions she had about the application process, different graduate programs, the outlook for OT as a profession and what got me into OT. As we talked, I realized that even in just a few short months my knowledge of the profession and my “elevator speech” have improved significantly. During our conversation, I was better able to describe differences between OT and PT, list some of the many practice settings where OTs work outside of schools and hospitals, and truly reflect on the long, arduous application process so I could give advice about what to do and NOT do. We ended up talking for about an hour, and it was amazing!
It blows my mind to think that just a couple of years ago I was in her shoes, interviewing a physical therapist and trying to find out what I wanted to do with my life. And just like her, I was worried about how my major would translate into “the real world” or a career and wondering which health profession was right for me. Fast forward two years and I’m now the one describing my (future) profession, talking about shadowing opportunities, and making recommendations for her next steps on the path to becoming an OT! It’s kind of crazy!
I also love how being an OT means that I will always get to incorporate the things that I love into my work. I can continue working with agriculturalists and veterans, use animals in treatment, read articles, take classes, and serve others for the rest of my life, and it’s gonna be great! (I started feeling during the interview that Sarah was going to have to wait another four years to become an OT, lol!) The wait seems long enough for me too, but it’s already November and nearly the end of the semester. Hopefully in another couple years I’ll be writing my first post as a occupational therapist about how I can’t believe how quickly time has passed since I started school…but for now I’ll just stick to blogging about the journey!