Romanah Faroqui is a current student in the Occupational Therapy program at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.
Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to work in the healthcare field. My father - a respiratory therapist - would come home from a long day at work in his scrubs and tell me stories about his day at the hospital, and I was fascinated. As I grew up, I narrowed down my interests and realized that I wanted to pursue rehabilitation as a career in some way, but I was unsure of what exactly I wanted to do. Fast forward to senior year of high school. I was on a tour of UB after I decided to go to school here. During a presentation of all the majors the UB had to offer, occupational therapy was introduced to me for the first time. My mom was actually the one who encouraged me to look into it. After taking some time to research the field, I had a gut feeling that occupational therapy was the right track for me. I spent a summer volunteering at an outpatient hand therapy clinic and a sensory gym for children, and I was hooked.
Deciding which college to attend was a struggle for me. Overall, I can be an indecisive person, so you can imagine how difficult it was to choose where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life. Ultimately I chose UB because of all the opportunities it had to offer. Even though I had always stayed close to home, part of me knew I wanted to go somewhere new and different, and Buffalo seemed like the right fit.
My experience with the occupational therapy program has been a whirlwind. Looking back at my first year of OT school, I remember how overwhelmed I was each and every day. The course load is no joke! But the knowledge I gained through lecture courses and lab practicums was critical to my advancement into the master's program. When applying information learned in my first few years to clinical experiences now, I am grateful for all that I have learned and the hard work I put into OT school. I am also grateful to all the professors who helped me along the way.
Overall, I could not have advanced this far in my collegiate career without the support from my peers in this program. Although there are a lot of us, 79 to be exact, our class has found a way to create a positive and fun learning environment each and every day. Whether it's through group studying or practicing clinical skills learned in lab together, working with my friends to understand the material and master it has been the best part of this program. As aspiring occupational therapists, we understand we have the unique opportunity to bring something different to the healthcare field.
I believe a degree from UB sets me apart because of the knowledge I gained through my program. My professors have done a wonderful job at supplying our class with the tools we need to succeed across a variety of practice areas. UB also places an emphasis on research and innovation within our fields. Being a part of a research team exploring the effects of fatigue on individuals diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis during my master's program has been highly challenging and rewarding. By taking part in research, I understand how the multi-faceted process works and will leave UB with the ability to take part in future research.