Student Spotlight: Taylor Guthrie, MSOT/S '15

Taylor Guthrie, MSOT/S, '15, Springdale, AR

What advantages does WUOT offer you that other programs don’t offer?
This is a hard question for me to answer because I don’t really have one. When looking at schools to attend, I was really impressed with WUOT’s NBCOT pass rate, and I knew that that was a good indicator of the education I would be receiving. Moving to St. Louis for me was an advantage as well. I needed a change and new experiences and was excited to take a leap of faith and move to a big city!

Why did you choose WUOT?
The choice to come here was extremely difficult for me. Conway was my home and I loved my church family and was familiar with the area. After lots of praying, thinking, and talking with mentors, I decided that God had called me to be an occupational therapist and I needed to do that to the best of my ability. What better way to make that happen than attending the number two school in the nation!

Why did you choose the degree program you did? (MSOT, OTD, etc)
I chose to earn my MSOT because I want to practice as soon as possible! I admire those that enjoy research and crunching numbers, but it isn’t my thing and figured I’d leave that to the OTDs. What I love about OT is that it takes all types and both degrees are equally valuable in practice.

What can you say about the quality of education you are receiving?
The faculty go out of their way to find doctors and professionals outside of our program that are experts in their field to give us lectures over certain topics. Several of our faculty members are published writers that are growing the field of research and take pride in the evidence and research they are publishing, which I feel speaks volumes about the program and education I’m receiving.

What is the learning atmosphere like? (people, resources provided, attitudes of faculty and staff, approach to teaching, quality of mentorship relationships, etc.)
Every faculty member has a slightly different style, which keeps us on our toes. I feel as though the atmosphere is professional, but laid back. Grad school is challenging anywhere you go, and the faculty know that and they’re here to help you with resources when you’re struggling or starting to “freak out!”

What do you like best about attending WUOT?
I feel like I can’t really answer this without repeating myself!

What do you like best about your classmates?
I enjoy having classmates from all cultures, religions, and backgrounds with interest in different treatment areas. It makes class discussion lively, and everyone has something different to bring to the table. Even classmates that I’m not personally close to, we still have a sense of camaraderie in and outside of the classroom. We are all experiencing the same struggles and frustrations as well as the excitement and job that goes along with being a graduate student.

How would you describe the faculty? What do you like best about the faculty?
It may seem trivial, but I appreciate the fact that our faculty members view us as colleagues. Using their first names creates a welcoming environment and makes them much more approachable as individuals.

What about the school do you most want prospective students to know?
ASK! Never be afraid to ask questions. Everything you learn is going to be important at some point or another, and it’s better to know for sure than to wish you had asked. Also, being a WUOT student has lots of perks. Lots of our prescriptions are free, we get a free MetroLink pass, and we have access to most events on the Danforth campus, which often times go overlooked I think! WILD is a super fun event at the Danforth campus that I love going to!

What do you think of living in St. Louis?
Coming from a small town, it took a while to get used to the traffic and the stop lights, but the beautiful parks, free events, museums, and festivals make it worth it! St. Louis has a big city vibe with a small town feel I think. There’s always something new to see, but you can still be a recognized regular at your favorite coffee shop or restaurant. Having a Cheesecake Factory in town was a HUGE plus for me, too!

What do you plan to do after graduation?
I want to be a school therapist in the Northwest Arkansas area and hope to open my own pediatric therapy clinic covering OT, PT, and SPT with access to hippotherapy and music therapy, too. I would love to have an in-house pediatrician and counseling services eventually so that we can be a “one-stop shop” for parents and clients. I already have a logo designed and everything that goes along with it, all I need now is the degree to get started!

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We are excited that you are considering applying to the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University. Please join us for a Zoom Information Session for either our entry-level MSOT or OTD degrees or our online Post-Professional OTD. Current faculty members will discuss the degree program and answer any question you may have. We are offering these sessions on the following days and times. The content is the same for each one, so you only need to sign up for one.

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