Lindsey Parenteau, 2011, Nashville, TN
What are you up to? I am currently enrolled in the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at Tennessee State University. I was 1 out of 30 students chosen from a pool of 500 applicants for the program, so I am still in shock and very thankful. What is occupational therapy, you ask? Well, it can help you get back into your work or job, but it can also be much more than that. Occupational therapy is the therapeutic use of everyday activities or occupations that are meaningful to the patient to promote independence in function. The profession works with all age groups and many different types of disabilities, both physical and mental.
How'd you get here? I have always loved art and music but I also knew I wanted to use my time helping others and making an impact in their lives, specifically children. As I was choosing my future profession, I tried my best to pick something that incorporated both of those aspects I enjoyed. Luckily, OT focuses on using crafts and participation as a type of therapy, so I knew it was the perfect route to go for me. I graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Science. OT is a very competitive field so I had to work hard to keep up a high GPA so that I could be accepted into a graduate program.
What are your goals? My number one goal is to get through the program so I can get started with my career. Once I get my Masters of Occupational Therapy, my dream is to become a traveling OT and pick up contracts around the around the globe. I couldn't pass up such an amazing career opportunity that allows me to travel and get paid at the same time.
Advice for WHS Students? If you have a dream or goal that seems unreachable or unrealistic, don't give up on it. Make it achievable. I went a direction that allowed me to incorporate art and creativity in a purposeful way. I still get to do what I love everyday, but I choose a path that allowed me to grow and have a stable career that I truly enjoy.
If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go? I would go to London, England in a heartbeat!