Your journey to becoming an Occupational Therapist starts with getting admission to the best institute for your training in the domain of Occupational Therapy. And for that, you need a strong personal statement that could talk to the selection committee on your behalf during your application consideration. We have compiled all the important things you need to know about personal statement for occupational therapy in this blog.
Reading this till end will expose you to:
- 6 Steps on how to write a personal statement for occupational therapy
- 3 occupational therapy personal statement examples
- Most frequently committed mistakes and some workarounds
What is Occupational Therapy? What Does an OT Therapist Do?
Occupational therapy is an independent branch of healthcare which focuses on helping people who suffer from cognitive, sensory, or physical disabilities.
An occupational therapist helps or trains the affected people to gain independence in dealing with some of or all of their social, physical and emotional needs.
How to Apply to a University Level Occupational Therapy Course?
Depending on the country where you wish to pursue your program, use the respective place’s centralized application system. For instance, in America, you apply through OTCAS (Occupational Therapy Assistant Centralized Application Service).
By applying through this centralized platform, you can be saved from applying to each program separately.
Before filing your application, make sure you have the following documents ready with you.
- Duly filled application form
- Transcript certificates
- Personal statement for occupational therapy masters/bachelors
- Two or three letters of recommendation
What is Occupational Therapy Personal Statement? Who Is It Addressed To?
A personal statement for occupational therapy is an essay that an applicant of an Occupational therapy program should write.
It describes his or her qualities, strengths, achievements, interests, and motivation to show that they are the right fit for a particular OT program.
The document is addressed to the admission panel of the Occupation therapy program you are applying to.
Through OTCAS, you can target multiple programs and file a single application.
5 Important OT Personal Statement Writing Prompts
- Why do you wish to become an occupational therapist?
- How can your personal, professional, and academic backgrounds contribute to your OT profession?
- How are you planning to contribute to society as an occupational therapist?
- What are your skills and strengths that will make you a good fit for our OT program?
- How do you look at your career as an OT in ten years?
Dos and Don’ts in OT Personal Statement Writing
- Be honest in your writing.
- Show your 100% commitment to the program
- Show your understanding about occupational therapy in the writing
- Show how you are going to contribute to your university
- Use simple language to make your points clear
- Don’t start your OT statement in a cliched way.
- Do not copy from personal statement OT examples
- Don’t use colloquial language or try to sound humorous
- Stay away from beating around the bush. Be straight to the point
- Avoid unnecessary explanations.
How to Write a Good Personal Statement for Occupational Therapy in Six Easy Steps?
Start with a personal introduction:
Start your personal statement in a very personal way. Try to build a rapport with the reader and convince them to read your essay fully.
Elaborate relevant points:
Your personal statement is a manifestation of your relevant skills, strengths, interests, goals, achievements and your motivation for OT. Elaborate all points with clarity and perfection.
Write a powerful conclusion:
End your personal statement on a positive note ensuring that it contains the essence of your story.
Read, read, and read:
There is no shortcut to writing a perfect personal statement. It requires several attempts of careful reading, rereading and corrections.
Get reviewed by an expert:
Once you are done with your own polishing, get your personal statement reviewed by an expert or a colleague of yours. They could identify what’s missing in your essay.
Submit on time:
When you apply through OTCAS, you can’t default on filing your application on time. Moreover, with some programs, you can enjoy early bird benefits by submitting earlier than the deadline.
Occupational Therapy Personal Statement Examples
My psychology towards life has bestowed me with an ideology that every being on earth deserves the best quality of life. This concept encompasses being able to accomplish the daily tasks in the respective walk of life. In my practical life, I have observed people take things for granted, not considering the impact had they lacked the ability to complete those tasks. This ideological path, coupled with my keen interest to establish myself in the care industry, has motivated me to embrace the career of an occupational therapist. In the process, I would have a positive impact on others’ lives, helping them adapt to environments and impart them with skills. It would be a gratifying career for me, assisting people around me gain confidence and independence. These thought processes have pushed me enough to integrate myself into a progressive learning environment. I look forward to experience a diverse and rewarding career, closely coordinating with people to help them enhance their lifestyles.
Being goal-oriented, I have successfully aligned my academic courses to match my professional goals. As a part of my graduate program, I studied social care, religious studies and history. A logical approach to my profession helped me imbibe relevant knowledge in the area of my interest. Both these subjects taught me to explore beyond superficiality and look into the underlying aspects. Particularly, it is fascinating for me to delve into chapters about ethics. This particular aspect of religious studies helps me venture into the moral beliefs of people, logically reasoning why they hold the same. I also found an acute curiosity in some domains of social care, revolving around the interrelations of body systems. I am deeply interested to explore the process through which the human body works.
It was due to my social care program, that I got the chance to intern at two reputed organizations in India, People Alliance Workforce and Space Consultants. This industry exposure brought me the opportunity to work closely with established occupational therapists. Particularly, I remember working with a bunch of paediatric occupational therapists. In the process, I gained a deep insight into their overall work process. Besides, I was a part of their case study meetings, where they were taking care of children experiencing cerebral palsy. During the last six months, I have extensively observed kids suffering from development coordination disorders, autism and hemiplegia. It has been a dynamic learning phase for me, as I observed how established professionals deploy equipment, exercises and channelize their knowledge to assist kids embrace a normal life. In the coming month, I am all set to volunteer at a hospital in Bengaluru to work in a stroke ward. All these experiences would enhance my core skills, preparing me for a challenging yet eventful career in India.
I believe that my interaction skills are stronger now, given that I have been a part of several activities. Each week, I volunteer a day at a kids’ nursery. Here, I assist kids aged around 7 experiencing reading difficulties to overcome their problems. Besides, I volunteered at a primary school for a week last year. It was there that I met a young girl experiencing difficulty in learning. She was unable to engage in her lessons. It took me little time to gain her trust. I was happy to observe that she was satisfied with my guidance and significantly overcame her complications. All these experiences have significantly boosted my confidence in interacting with kids. In the coming years, I would like to capitalize on the opportunity to communicate further with young people and children and help them overcome their respective difficulties.
Standing at the crossroads of an eventful learning process and a happening career, I believe this to be the right time to pursue a professional program in occupational therapy. With a global exposure and learning experience, I would be able to direct my energies towards fruitful directions. Besides, considering my work experience, academic background, and interest, I believe that I am well-poised to be an occupational therapist. My caring nature, ability to adapt to environments and communicate with people would complement my efforts to establish myself as a successful occupational therapist. Presently, I am focusing on the sophisticated learning environment at your university. Meeting new people and overcoming fresh challenges, I would like to pursue the Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from your revered institution. This program would eventually propel me towards an incredibly rewarding profession back in India or abroad.
Download your occupational therapy personal statement sample PDF here. Read the sample to understand how you can approach it from a real-life context.
Example 2 – Personal Statement for Occupational Therapy Masters
How to Use a Sample Personal Statement for Occupational Therapy?
Follow the below guidelines while using these personal statements OT examples.
- Don’t copy from the samples. Doing so will cause your document to get detected for plagiarism and further disciplinary action will be taken against you.
- Do not rewrite the occupational therapy personal statement example or modify it to suit your profile. Write your personal statement from the scratch in your own personal way.
- Understand how to use a smooth and engaging tone in your personal statement from your sample reading.
- Familiarize yourself with the personal statement introduction and conclusion writing methods from the samples.
- Learn how to structure the body paragraphs of your personal statement in chronological order through the way it is written in the occupational therapy personal statement example.
Not maintaining a proper structure for your personal statement can make it difficult for the selectors to find the details they are looking for.
Writing about achievements without giving any reference to the evidence can cause your write-up to look hollow.
Not adhering to the recommended length:
If your occupational therapy personal statement length is too long or too short, it can cause the reader to have a poor impression of it.
Not formatting correctly:
Being a highly crucial document which is used for future references, it is mandatory to comply with an academically recognized format in your personal statement.
Try to use correct punctuation in your document. Use of incorrect punctuation or no punctuation at all will result in the points getting misread and misunderstood.
Tips for Making Your Personal Statement Free from Errors
If you are looking to write a personal statement that is 100% perfect and free from mistakes,
using these pro tips from experts will help you.
Take your time to write:
Don’t write in a hurry as it can limit your imagination and presence of mind and result in a lot of mistakes.
Read a lot:
Reading the best input for writing. Before writing your personal statement, read about the OT program, its scope, sample statements, and other related stuff to help yourself.
Beware of the introduction and conclusion:
Both the introduction and the conclusion of your personal statement are of great importance. Write both with care.
Sound positive and optimistic:
If you don’t reflect positivity and optimism in your personal statement, your reader will neither. The feeling you express in the write-up will pass on to the reader too.
Show your passion:
Write how strongly you are drawn to the profession of occupational therapy and how you are going to benefit from it, contribute it to and structure your career by it.
5 AOTA Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs by Universities
- Washington University – St. Louis, MO
- Columbia University – New York, NY
- University of Southern California – Los Angeles, CA
- University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA
- University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, NC
Helpful Groups and Associations for OT Students
American Occupational Therapist Association (AOTA)
AOTA (American Occupational Therapist Association) is a national level association that caters to OT professionals. It was established in 1917.
North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association (NCOTA)
It is an association that largely accommodates OT professionals in the region of North Carolina. It helps the OT professionals to share their views and have a common platform.
World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)
It is an international level organization for the professionals and students of occupational therapy and serves as a voice for them.
Washington Occupational Therapy Association (WOTA)
The practitioners of occupational therapy in the state of Washington come together, share their views and opinions at WOTA.
Pi Theta Epsilon
Pi Theta Epsilon acts as the collective voice of students and alumni of Occupational Therapy.
Did We Enlighten You?
We hope to have raised your understanding about writing a personal statement for occupational therapy.
Do you wish to clarify anything regarding this?
We would like to know your feedback.
If you have any queries of questions, feel free to write them in the comment section below.
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