Having spent 10 years working for the children's services department of a local authority, I knew I had an ability to affect positive change. I had particular interests in therapeutic approaches and how they can make a significant difference. Unfortunately, my academic qualifications did not match my ambition or skill set at the time. I was bound professionally at a level that matched my academic achievements but was below my potential. I knew I needed to obtain an academic qualification to match my ambition for change. This led me to researching therapeutic interventions and that’s when I came across Occupational Therapy. At the time it felt like the perfect fit.
I began searching for universities in my area that offered Occupational Therapy and attended their Open Days. It was at this point that I made my decision to study at the University of Sunderland; speaking to the course leader and listening to the presentation solidified that what they were offering went hand in hand with what I was looking for. Although the course was new there was clearly the ambition to grow and develop the course into something bigger. It was forward thinking and adapting to new and innovative ways of teaching. I knew right then that this was the course and the way of teaching I wanted to immerse myself in.
My favourite part of the course is the group activities and practical workshops. We get to do a lot of collaborative tasks. Having such a varied group of people from different backgrounds, with different ages and opinions, we get to share our unique ideas and perspectives. This helps me to gain a broader understanding of other people’s life experiences and perspectives. Learning with the University of Sunderland is far more than simply attending lectures, seminars and workshops. The course information is thought provoking and has penetrated the thoughts I have about my own daily life. It has already given me a new perspective through which I can view the world around me, and it has expanded my ability to see things that were previously not there.
My goal is to qualify as an Occupational Therapist so I can use my skills and qualities to make a positive change or difference to the lives of the people I will work with. If I was going to give advice to any prospective students, I would say have the courage to try and don’t worry if you feel pushed out of your comfort zone. You can be assured that the staff are there to provide a brilliant safety net. They will help you to grow from any successes or failures you experience if you let them. Even in the middle of a pandemic, dealing with the occasional technical hitches that have come from moving teaching online, there is support, encouragement and a positive attitude to adapting to a new way of working.”
Published 26 November 2020