By Adrienne Lauer, EdD, OTL | May 27, 2022
The secret to getting the most out of your post professional advanced degree is making everything you are learning relevant and relatable to you and your specific professional context. It’s that simple. Having the mindset to thoughtfully and purposefully blend your academic and professional work environments will help you apply and integrate your knowledge in a new, relevant way. This can help reinforce your learning and allow for meaningful professional growth throughout the program and beyond.
Another way to get the most out of your post professional OTD (ppOTD) experience is to fully engage with your cohort, faculty, and capstone mentor. You can expand your network by connecting with OT professionals from all over the globe. You will have a unique opportunity to interact and engage with a diverse group of professionals in your cohort who share your interests, goals, and experience. Not only will the support of fellow cohort members be helpful as you navigate each semester, but what you can learn from one another will further advance your knowledge and professional practice.
In addition, it is important for anyone in an academic program, especially one that is in an online environment, to set a schedule and stick to it. To get the most out of your experience, you want to make sure that you can carefully and mindfully work your way through the content and learning activities. This can help prevent unnecessary stress in your already busy life. Be sure to dedicate time to set a weekly schedule that provides plenty of cushion. This will allow you to engage and thoughtfully work your way through the learning activities.
To get the most out of your degree and make your life easier, think early and often about your capstone project. You probably already have an idea or passion you want to focus on for your capstone. As you are working through the program curriculum, integrate and align what you are learning with those ideas. Discuss those ideas with your fellow cohort members, faculty, and capstone coordinator. Continue to mold your project ideas, so as you start to construct and implement your capstone project it will truly be a culmination of everything you have learned through the program!
And lastly, enjoy the learning process and reward yourself every time you complete an assignment or reach a goal. You deserve it.
Adrienne Lauer is the Director of the transitional OTD Program at Marymount University. To learn more about the online, budget friendly transitional Doctor of Occupational Therapy please visit our ppOTD program site.