After a cross-country move from California to New York, Rebecca Seal decided it was the perfect time to pursue a new career. With an interest in helping children in early intervention, Rebecca enrolled at UB due to its outstanding reputation and affordability.
My initial interest in occupational therapy developed when my nephew, who was born prematurely, received early intervention services to address sensory issues that he was experiencing. I was impressed to see the marked difference his occupational therapist was able to make in his home, social, and school life. When my husband and I re-located from California to Rochester, NY three years ago, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore a new career as an occupational therapist that would allow me to make meaningful contributions to individuals, their families and the community as a whole.
The outstanding reputation of the OT program at UB was a major factor, but additionally was UB's affordability. As a "non-traditional" student, I'm not willing to take on large amounts of debt at this stage in my life.
Thanks to my previous college coursework, I was able to transfer a lot of undergraduate credits once I enrolled in the OT program here at UB. This was a big help to me because it allowed me to only take a few courses at a time in the beginning while I got reacquainted to the classroom environment.
Having been out of school for quite a few years, it was a challenge to shift gears back to the intense studying needed for a program in the biological sciences. Now, as a third year student, I am enjoying the focus on occupational therapy courses. I am excited about how well-rounded the curriculum appears, with important opportunities for hands-on clinical fieldwork, research, and client and professional advocacy. I’m really looking forward to engaging with local communities in a meaningful way.
I especially like the variety of fieldwork opportunities that are offered. There are many areas within the field that an occupational therapist can choose from, such as early intervention, school-based, physical disabilities, mental health, geriatrics and community-based work. Each fieldwork opportunity we partake in gives us a chance to explore a new area, which helps us determine which one best captures our interest.
In the short term, I would love to work with children in early intervention in the Rochester, New York area. However, my husband and I still have a desire to live in the Pacific Northwest. One of the great things about the field of occupational therapy is the ability to work anywhere in the country after passing national boards. Regardless of where I live, my ultimate goal is the same; to facilitate meaningful life improvements for my clients, allowing them to not only meet their functional and daily needs but to embrace their uniqueness by living life to its fullest and on their own terms.