Name: Gold Okafor Program of Study: Masters of Occupational Therapy Hometown: Dallas, Texas Year of Graduation: 2020
What made you choose Baker College to get your Master's of Occupational Therapy degree?
I hear this question all the time. Coming from Texas where the weather is warm, it was definitely a culture and climate change. I wanted to be in a situation where I could focus only on my education. I did not want to be close to home, because I knew family and friends could be a distraction for me. When I was applying for schools, I looked for an accredited school that had professors and resources that were available for students at all times. I knew I wanted to be in a program that gave every student the one on one time needed to succeed. the small class setting is definitely something I enjoyed. Ultimately the faculty was the biggest impression that made me decide Baker College was the right fit for me. They take pride in the development of their students.
What's your favorite thing about Occupational Therapy?
My favorite thing about occupational therapy is working with people from all walks of life. To know you are in a profession that makes a huge impact on people's lives. An occupational therapist has the ability to make their clients and patients' life feel more meaningful and ultimately get them back to living their lives to the fullest functional capacity. To know that people are trusting you to help them get better is powerful. I also love how occupational therapists can work in a variety of settings such as schools, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, military bases, and more. Not many careers can say that.
What's your favorite memory from your time here at Baker College?
My favorite memory at Baker College was being able to use my skills in the community. The Baker Occupational Therapy Program allowed us to meet individuals in the community. My classmates and I worked with various populations, from the elderly, pediatrics, mentally disabled, and other areas within the health field. I enjoyed educating people about occupational therapy. These opportunities were the most rewarding because we were able to advocate for our profession as well as build confidence as students.
What are your post-graduation plans?
Although graduation is rewarding, every student who intends on practicing as an occupational therapist must also pass the national board. I will be studying every day for the (NBCOT) National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy post-graduation. Once I have completed my boards, I intend to begin working back home in Texas. I envision myself working with the pediatric population. I want to be able to emerge myself in the developmental process of children. I think occupational therapy is essential in the early stages of life, plus I love to challenge myself. I plan to work with children with all types of conditions in my first 2-3 years after graduation.
What advice do you have for incoming Occupational Therapy students?
If I had to share any piece of advice to aspiring occupational therapist students, it would be to avoid procrastination. Students must find a system that works for them because time management is important. The occupational therapy program is rigorous but rewarding. The OT program can successfully be completed, but students must be dedicated and committed to asking questions and not worrying about failing. Another key component to your success in the occupational therapy program is building a relationship with your classmates. Having a support system is very beneficial in the program. I would not be where I am today if it was not for my group of classmates/friends. The program will test you in many ways, but nothing good comes easy.
Do you want to shoutout a faculty or staff member who helped you along your college journey?
I am blessed and fortunate to have professors that were very skilled and caring. One of the biggest reasons I came to Baker was of the support I received from an amazing Professor, Ms. Williams. She is the most positive person you may ever meet. Dr. Rozanski is a huge piece of my growth in the program. She can challenge you but has a gift to make you think. Every occupational therapy staff member had a major impact on my college journey, but those 2 were very instrumental.