Jianna Fernandez, OTD/S '16, St. Louis, MO
Why did you choose WUOT?
I chose WUOT because I wanted to attend a program where I could learn the most innovative interventions and feel confident in my ability to be an effective therapist upon graduation. Additionally, I chose OT because I desired to learn under leaders in OT, gain valuable clinical experience and get involved in impactful research.
Why did you choose the degree program you did? (MSOT, OTD, etc.)
I chose OTD because I wanted to get a more in-depth research experience and take electives that appeal to my interests but are not provided by the program. I also hope to work in administration and teaching roles in the future and believe that earning an OTD will give me the educational experience that I may need to be a competitive applicant.
What can you say about the quality of education you are receiving?
I am confident that the education I am receiving is top of the line. It is hands-on and integrates theory and evidence while still emphasizing client-centeredness.
What is the learning atmosphere like? (people, resources provided, attitudes of faculty and staff, approach to teaching, quality of mentorship relationships, etc.)
Faculty goes out of their way to build relationships with students and ensure their success. They make themselves readily available to students. I once had an instructor offer to meet with me at 7:00 a.m. before she caught a flight across the country to review lecture information that I was unsure about. I believe that sacrifice is an astounding example to the distance our instructors will go to help students become better students and practitioners.
What do you think of living in St. Louis?
St. Louis offers a rich diversity of experiences throughout the year. There are many free festivals, concerts, and community service opportunities throughout the area. Living in St. Louis can be a very rewarding experience if a person is willing to branch out and take advantage of everything the city has to offer.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
After graduation I hope to work in pediatrics. While working in pediatrics, I plan to work PRN in an adult rehabilitation setting. Eventually, I hope to teach at the university level.
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Current, future, and accepted applicants are encouraged to visit. We also welcome people who are exploring career options and considering occupational therapy. Dr. Kathy Kniepmann, one of our faculty members, opens our visit sessions with an informal presentation and discussion, followed by a tour that’s led by one of our current occupational therapy students.
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