How much experience do I need to be admitted to a good program?

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Comments (4)

andybaxley86 in Xadani, Mexico

45 months ago

Hello all!
I am a 24 year old who has spent the past two years (since graduating with my degree in psychology) travelling, living, and working abroad. My time away from home has given me a lot of time to think about what I want to do, and I have come to the conclusion that OT may just be the career for me. The plan as of now is to apply for Fall 2013 programs. Between now and then I plan to-

Spend now until July 2012 living and working in New Zealand (one last trave hoorah)
August-December 2012- Volunteer oir intern in a couple of different OT settings and take a few pre requisite courses I am missing.
December 2012- Apply for programs
January-July- Continue saving money for school and volunteering.

My question is whether or not 6 months is enough volunteer experience to be considered for a good program, or if I should skip the New Zealand trip in favor of having a year experience under my belt by the time applications are due.

Also, what kind of volunteer experience do you recommnend? My ultimate goal is to do in home care with aging populations. Is there any chance I could find paid work in the field between now and when I start school?

Thank you so very much for your help!

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R. in Los Angeles, California

44 months ago

6 months should be more than enough to garner enough experience. But that is assuming that you already have an agreement with the place you want to complete your hours. It took me a month or so (while also being a full time student and part time employee) to contact different places, wait for one to contact me, interview with them, and complete fingerprinting and forms. Also, your site may be less flexible about when they can have volunteers present, which could slow down how quickly you complete your hours.

The type of volunteer experience does not particular matter as long as there is an OT present for you to observe while he/she works. Find a setting that interests you/that you want to work in during your career.

I highly doubt you will be able to find paid work in the field.

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andybaxley86 in Oaxaca, Mexico

44 months ago

Great info. Thank you for your help L.A.!

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Marc in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

37 months ago

I work as a Rehab Office Coordinator in a SNF and I am 22 years old and have a BA in Psychology. I make 38,000 a year and I live in one of the poorest counties in all of New Jersey. So there is definitely options out there for getting your feet wet before becoming an OT.

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