Nicole Deenmamode, MSc Occupational TherapyA career change is never an easy choice to make, but Nicole felt supported by LSBU right from the start of her journey to study Occupational Therapy
Nicole was working as a freelance graphic designer and as an associate lecturer in media and creative arts before deciding to change careers and become an occupational therapist. “Job satisfaction is important to me and working in occupational therapy will offer me versatile opportunities to work with individuals to overcome their physical or mental health difficulties,” she says, explaining her decision. “I wish to have a positive impact in helping to make a difference and improve an individual’s life during their time of struggle. I hope to be a motivational force in helping empower individuals to maintain independence in their daily living.”
Heart of the city
After making her decision to study Occupational Therapy, the next question was where to do it. LSBU’s PgDip/MSc Occupational Therapy is accredited by the College of Occupational Therapists so Nicole was able to find it while browsing information on their website. “I was drawn to LSBU because it is a London university and its location is based right in the heart of the city. I come from a small countryside town, so having an opportunity to study in the nation’s capital city appealed to me greatly.”
Initially Nicole was worried that her lack of healthcare experience and her first degree in Graphic Design would mean she wasn’t eligible to apply. However the accommodating approach at LSBU and the supportive staff reassured her; “I was really supported during my application process and given encouraging advice by LSBU Occupational Therapy staff: from attending an open day, information I received via email, and right through to the group interview stage of the application process.”
Now enrolled and over half-way through her course, Nicole has enjoyed the varied selection of placements LSBU has provided. She’s worked in a community mental health team for older people, learned about early diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease within a memory service clinic, and worked with patients with physical dysfunctions within an acute hospital on surgical and medical in-patient wards.
I am always seeking to learn and grow as an individual and I hope to still utilise my previous work experience to enhance my own professional identity as a qualified occupational therapist. I am so thankful to LSBU for giving me this life-changing opportunity to change career path in order to achieve my ambition.
Inspiration and encouragement
Nicole has felt happy in her decision to study with LSBU thanks to the support and encouragement she has received, from both her peer group and her tutors. “You are assigned a personal tutor to support you during your studies, and all teaching staff are specialists in various areas in Occupational Therapy so the knowledge they impart to students is so valuable,” she explains. “Student learning on the course is varied and you can experience a mix of lectures, practical skill sessions, problem-based learning groups, online learning material, plus you gain hands-on work experience during your allocated practice placements.”
The student learning experience on the Occupational Therapy course at LSBU is enriched by the fact that it welcomes students from diverse previous life and work backgrounds. “The teaching staff will inspire and motivate you, but your student cohort will support and encourage while you each walk the same journey to become qualified professionals,” says Nicole.