Have you met HS Alumni...Megan? *Grad Column Edition*
November 3, 2015
Name: Megan Yang
School: University of Toronto
Program: Masters of Occupational Therapy
Favourite Health Sciences Course: Independent Study with Dr. Huot, also RS 4210 Innovations in Rehab.
What is OT? I’m sure a lot of people are not exactly clear on what this profession entails. This is the million dollar question haha. Occupational therapy is a rehab or allied health professional who essentially helps people do or get back to doing the activities that are meaningful to them. Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings with a diverse range of people.
What were your aspirations during your undergraduate career? To be honest, I didn’t know what I wanted to do until halfway through third year. I kept thinking that fourth year was far away and when it got closer I would know what I wanted to do. That didn’t exactly happen so I actively sought out things that interested me. I took Dr. Huot’s Enabling Health and Well-Being class which was an introduction to occupational science (which is the field that occupational therapy is supported by). I enjoyed the class and decided to continue learning about Occupational Therapy because it seemed to be a field that interested me.
What did you do in your undergraduate years to prepare yourself for grad school? I don’t necessarily think I did anything in particular in my undergraduate years to prepare myself for grad school. I participated in volunteer, leadership, and extra-curricular activities that interested me and I would say that collection of those experiences showed me that Occupational Therapy was a good fit for me. I joined clubs and councils that I loved and didn’t really think about grad school or what was going to come after undergrad.
Were there any classes, extracurricular activities, or other experiences that shaped your current career path? Absolutely! Shout-out to Making Waves which is an incredible club run by students on campus that aims to provide accessible swimming lessons to children with special needs in the London community. Making Waves provided me with communication, advocacy, and leadership skills that I truly believed have shaped my path to becoming an OT. FHSSC and HSSA were also important in sparking an interested in rehab sciences and providing an outlet and opportunity to interact and learn from students with similar interests and goals.
Why did you choose OT and why at U of T? Were there other professional programs or schools that you were interested in? OT is the only professional program that I applied to; however, I did apply to other OT programs. I ultimately choose U of T because of fieldwork opportunities (and because I love Toronto).
What is the structure of the OT program at U of T? What do you like best about your program? What would you like to change? The structure of the OT program at U of T focuses on academic and classroom learning mainly in Year 1, which means that there is a heavier focus on clinical and placement opportunities in Year 2. I only just started the
program in September but I really like the interaction between students and opportunities to guide our own learning through small study groups.
Is there any advice you would like to share with current Health Studies undergraduate students? Do what you love, do what interests and inspires you. Don’t stress and worry about the little things. Listen to what those around you are saying. Love Health Sci and Western (you’ll miss it—that nostalgic feeling hasn’t gone away yet).
Thank you Megan for sharing your experiences with The Apple! We wish you the best wherever your path takes you.