Name: Yadi Quintanilla
Accepted to: University of Wisconsin- Madison Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Program
Undergrad University: St. Olaf College
Work at ACR : I have worked with Arthurs Senior Care for nearly one year full time! ACR and Arthur’s has taught me the importance of building individual relationships with each resident. I valued learning skills such as med administration, medical equipment usage, and routine therapies, but learning how to best help each resident individually taught me the importance of meaning in daily living to their quality of life!
Total PCE hours: I have gained a total of 1000+ direct patient care hours through ACR Homes/ Arthur’s.
Shadowing hours: I had a total of 36 shadowing hours on my application. I did not decide to pursue occupational therapy until half way through my senior year of college. With the rise of COVID-19, shadowing opportunities were hard to obtain, but there are many other ways to learn more about the field of occupational therapy and grow my passion in the field.
Other volunteer hours: 100+ hours volunteering with Ole spring Relief, Laura Baker, Christmas Shoe Boxes, Northfield middle school
Extra: I was involved in two independent research projects, one on cochlear implant users and the other on non native english speakers, through the psychology
department. I was president of the Minority Association for Pre-medical students (MAPS), and studied abroad in Jerusalem.
How many programs did you apply to? 7 programs
How many programs did you interview with? 1 program, UW Madison.
Anything you found surprising about interviews? I was asked to send a video of myself answering the questions given to me once I started recording myself. The questions were focused on my ability to deal with obstacles, confrontation, and my background in patient care. ACR has helped me develop my skills in all of these categories, therefore making me confident in the interview process!
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through the application and interview process?
Navigating the American Occupational Therapy Association Website was very beneficial for me. I read a lot of studies on my own time that they put on the website free for the public. Learning about the field of OT later in college, made it more difficult for me to gain shadowing experience, but reading different studies, and using the references of those studies for further research allowed me to explore specific specialties such as OT for cochlear implant users, OT for non native English speakers, and more recently, OT for people with Dementia.
Any other advice for other pre-OT students?
There is no one way to get accepted into a graduate program of choice. I feared not getting accepted because of my lack of shadowing opportunities. There are many other ways to gain knowledge and learn about the variety of specialties within the field. Showing dedication and passion is most important when writing essays for your application and answering interview questions. Volunteering with different age groups, figuring out what most interests me about patient care, and talking with Occupational Therapists in different specialties, helped me develop my passion for occupational therapy and better express my dedication to the field!