Everyone say hello to Margo, a graduate student in our Occupational Therapy program. Learn more about her inspirations, interests, and experiences as a first-year OT student in this edition of our Spotlight series.
Name: Margaret Weisblat Nickname: Margo Program:Master of Occupational Therapy Hometown: Orlando, FL Undergraduate School: University of North Florida Favorite thing to order from NESS Café: The Spaghetti special Favorite place to hang out on campus: Garden of Miracles
Why did you choose Occupational Therapy?
I chose Occupational Therapy because I think it’s really cool how we can help people participate in all their important activities. It's more than just things like self-care, but also things like hobbies and interests that are personal to the client.
What did you study as an undergraduate?
I majored in Exercise Physiology and minored in American Sign Language. I’m hoping I will be able to communicate effectively with more clients who use ASL as their primary language.
Why did you choose to attend ADU?
I chose ADU because I like the focus on God and using healthcare as a ministry. As healthcare providers, I think it’s important that we can minister to someone else. I also like how ADU is a smaller, more personal setting. The professors genuinely care about you and don’t just see you as merely another body in the classroom.
What’s your favorite area of Occupational Therapy?
At first, I was interested in geriatrics. Now I also have a strong interest in spinal cord injuries. There are so many different levels, and different occupations can be affected depending on the injury. I was also involved with adaptive sports last summer, and I’m excited to learn even more about it.
Who’s your furry friend?
This is Hugger II. She is training with Canine Companions for Independence. They provide assistance dogs to individuals who are living with disabilities. I work with her on basic commands, and once she starts professional training, they’ll turn those basic commands into more practical things. For example, instead of learning just to put her paws on a counter, she’ll learn how to hand someone a credit card at the store. She’ll also learn things such as how to push buttons for handicap doors, turn lights off and on, open the refrigerator, etc.
What inspired you to do this?
I’ve always loved animals, and I wanted to get involved somehow in the community, so I decided to put my passion for animals into helping others. Even though I’ll eventually have to part with her, knowing that something as simple as helping to train a dog can make a significant impact on someone else’s life makes it worth it to me.
What do you think is the coolest thing about the Occupational Therapy program?
I enjoy the creative teaching styles of the professors, and I also like the fieldwork opportunities. I feel like a lot of other schools don’t have as much field work as we do. We have five Level-1 (directed observation and participation), and two Level-2 (developing independent performance) fieldwork opportunities. I don’t think a lot of other schools offer as many opportunities or variety for real world experience.
Have you had any revelations while you’ve been here?
Usually I’m an introvert. However, working with clients means you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone. I’ve learned that I’m capable of being more extroverted that I thought I could be. Now I’m much more eager to jump into things than before.
Any advice for would-be Occupational Therapists?
Come prepared to hit the ground running. Keep up with your studying. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because it’s likely that someone else has a similar question but is too afraid to speak up. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to study in a variety of settings, and that includes a cadaver lab. If that makes you nervous, try to mentally prepare.
Thanks, Margo! Keep up the good work. Same goes for you, Hugger.