Emily Berkowitz, MSOT/S 2013
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
What advantages does the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis offer you that other programs don’t offer?
It is a wonderful Program that really challenges the students, and is a great learning environment. One major advantage of the program is the emphasis that is put on research and up-to-date information concerning various topics within the occupational therapy profession. We are taught to think critically when reading articles or performing our own research, which enables us to be well-equipped for the professional world.
Why did you choose Washington University School of Medicine?
I chose the Program for the faculty, research opportunities, and the program’s reputation in the professional world. I have always been interested in hippotherapy/therapeutic horseback riding, and when I found out that I could have the chance to work with a faculty member on his research of this topic, I knew that I could not pass that up! Additionally, having previously spoken to several occupational therapists, they always commented how well-prepared and forward-thinking the Program’s students were when they entered the profession.
What can you say about the quality of education you are receiving?
I have found that the Program has a very high-quality, comprehensive education. The program recognizes the importance for practical application of the material we are learning and make it a priority for the students to get hands-on experience with each other and real clients. The program also covers a wide variety of material that will allow us to enter any job with some background knowledge of that practice area.
What is the learning atmosphere like? (people, resources provided, attitudes of faculty and staff, approach to teaching, quality of mentorship relationships, etc.)
The learning atmosphere here is wonderful! We have a great student body, professors, and resources. Both the faculty and the students wants to see everyone succeed while still being challenged, making for a very supportive and intellectual environment. Since our program is associated with the School of Medicine, we have great resources that are available to us to improve our learning experiences.
What do you like best about attending the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis?
There are so many wonderful things about this program, but the faculty and student body are definitely a highlight for me. Everyone is motivated and supportive of each other which really enhances my learning experience and makes me excited to become an occupational therapist.
As a group, how would you describe your classmates?
I would describe my classmates as highly motivated, intelligent and interesting individuals. Everyone has a different background, but we are all in this program because we love occupational therapy and want to help each other succeed in school and our profession.
What do you like best about your classmates?
Everyone is so kind and helpful. No one is out to one-up the other person which is much more conducive to a healthy and rewarding learning experience.
How would you describe the faculty?
I would describe the faculty as extremely intelligent and interesting. They have all worked in various areas of occupational therapy, so their individual experiences make the material they are presenting much more interesting and applicable. It’s also interesting to learn about all the research they are doing, and choosing to be a part of one of their projects is very exciting!
What do you like best about the faculty?
I appreciate how helpful and approachable the faculty is. They want to see all of the students succeed, but push us to do so. They challenge us to think independently and critically, but are also very willing to have discussions with the students and clarify the material they taught in class.
What about the school do you most want prospective students to know?
I want prospective students to understand what a wonderful program it is! I don’t think there are many other programs that provide the students with the knowledge and experiences that Washington University in St. Louis does.
What do you think of living in St. Louis?
Since I’ve been living here, I have taken advantage of many of the free events and activities that the city has to offer. It is definitely a manageable city to live in with some fun neighborhoods and parks.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
Enjoy a little bit of vacation time before fieldwork and a real job starts! I am definitely looking forward to exploring the many areas of occupational therapy and hopefully will eventually pursue a career as an occupational/hippotherapist.