Nikolas Koscielniak, OTD/S 2014
What advantages does WUOT offer you that other programs don’t offer?
Because the WUOT program is part of the Washington University Medical School, it enables me to expand my opportunities and participate in certain events and groups not only within the school, but also outside of the school environment as well.
Why did you choose WUOT?
I chose WUOT because it has such a great track record and enables me to do be a part of a great community of health professionals, as well as the fact that I had the opportunity to be educated by the best and most knowledgeable OT faculty in the country.
What can you say about the quality of education you are receiving?
I’d have to say it’s very good. Most students think that professors will spoon feed information to them, but this program is different; it stresses the importance of self-directed learning and finding and using your resources to the best of your abilities. The professors place emphasis on the student thinking independently, abstract, and creatively, and teach an ideal that OT’s will never stop learning new things, which I believe is how education should be.
What is the learning atmosphere like? (people, resources provided, attitudes of faculty and staff, approach to teaching, quality of mentorship relationships, etc.)
Very inviting, a constant cycle of learning; all of the professors expect feedback to continually improve and learn what motivates and enhances a students learning environment; they push students to think creatively, but not necessarily independent thinking, however instead focusing on consulting others, whether it’s from other disciplines or within OT. The school teaches students how to further their education with literature reviews, courses that emphasize evidence-based practice and fieldwork’s that promote application of skills attained in the classroom.
What do you like best about attending WUOT?
Being able to learn from the leaders in the profession and knowing that when I graduate, I will be fully prepared with all of the foundational skills and tools for my future in OT and a basis to further my educational and career goals in rehabilitation and medicine. WUOT makes me feel confident that I will always have a group of academics to consult in the future.
As a group, how would you describe your classmates?
Creative people who all want to impact the world through improving the lives of others. They are all unique but all curious as to wanting and striving to learn the most in school. They all come from different backgrounds, and so many of them are open and accepting of anyone and anything. They all come from different places and we all share the same unique likeness for OT.
How would you describe the faculty?
Very unique and insightful. The faculty truly makes me comfortable in school and confident in my ability to express my knowledge. You can tell they strive to make this the best learning environment for students, and it definitely shows.
What do you like best about the faculty?
No matter what, the faculty are always looking out for the student’s best interest, they want to see every student succeed in the program and they are always willing to help students pursue many of their individual goals to enable students to flourish in their academic and professional careers.
What about the school do you most want prospective students to know?
Don’t expect the professors to tell you why you learn the things you are learning; everything is related to OT no matter what – from theory to anatomy to interventions - everything is important, so never think that what you learn is irrelevant to your career as an OT.
What do you think of living in St. Louis?
It’s an interesting place, more of a small town feel rather than an urban city. Wish it had better public transit.
What degree are you pursuing?
I am pursuing my Doctorate in Occupational Therapy.
In what year will you receive your degree?
What do you plan to do after graduation?
My goal is to work for improvement in health care around the world at either the U.N., WHO or IHI.
Your home town?
I have lived in St. Louis for the last 11 years but I do not consider it my hometown because I have moved around so much in my life.
Anything else you would like to add?