Callum, a current Bachelor of Occupational Therapy student is not new to tertiary study. Before studying Occupational Therapy (OT), Callum was studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in Environment and Geography. However, after persevering through part of the degree, Callum realised that Science was not the right fit for him. Callum embarked on a journey to try and discover what he really wanted to do, and triumphed.
“I began studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in Environment and Geography because I had received an early offer from the University of Newcastle, and I was not really sure what else I wanted to do. It took me a good year and a half of struggling through courses, to realise that Science was not the right fit for me. I began to think University maybe wasn’t for me, and I felt like I really needed a fresh start.”
Callum then spent the remaining half of his second year carefully evaluating his options.
“I recognised that as a person who thrives off social interaction and loves to provide support when able to, my values would align perfectly with a career in health. I just wasn’t sure which career or degree that was, and if I was capable of doing it”
For Callum, OT encompassed all the aspects he found appealing about the other health professions that he had previously considered.
“It was not until I really looked into OT that I realised how incredibly broad its scope of practice is, encompassing many different areas of health, across many different settings.”
Callum entered the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) program and the rest is history.
Callum has had the opportunity to attend several clinical placements where he applies the theory, he learns in the classroom in a workplace setting.
“My first placement was in a community setting, helping elderly people transition from the hospital back into their homes. My second placement was in an acute mental health unit. And I am currently on my third-year placement in Hand Therapy. I’m working as part of the Hand Therapy team, within the surgical OT unit - and loving every minute of it!”
Callum’s career aspirations reflect his experiences in placement.
“So far, I love the hospital setting, especially working in the mental health unit but I’m also thoroughly enjoying my current placement in Hand Therapy. I’ve been considering doing some locum work after I graduate; I would love to work in a hospital setting in the UK!”
It’s no doubt that University provides an ample number of opportunities, both socially and academically and Callum has showcased just that. Callum is currently in his third year of study in the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) program and has been awarded two Faculty Commendations in recognition of his academic achievement over the past two years. He was also invited to participate in the Faculty of Health & Medicine Scholars program two years in a row. Not only has Callum achieved academically, but he is also the President of the Occupational Therapy Student Society, which is a student-led organisation that aims to provide a range of social and educational opportunities to OT students.
“I’m proud of these achievements because in retrospect, they help me identify how far I have come in my journey as a student, but also my personal growth as a person.”
Whilst Callum has his goals in check, he also has a backbone of supportive friends that he has made through his program.
“I’m so lucky to have such an amazing and supportive cohort, I know many of us will remain friends for a long time to come!”
Reflecting on his achievements, Callum said the journey to discover a degree and career that he is truly passionate about was all worth it in the end.
“A few years ago, I never would have imagined I’d even find something I could be passionate about - but I’ve found a degree, a career, amazing friends, so many fun experiences and in turn, grown as a person!”
Callum is currently studying a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) at the University of Newcastle. It is his journey that got him here that is most valuable.
It was not until I really looked into OT that I realised how incredibly broad its scope of practice is, encompassing many different areas of health, across many different settings.
The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.