Gabrielle Caguete graduated with her MA in Occupational Therapy in May 2020. Originally from the Philippines, Gabrielle now lives in Queens, New York, and is preparing to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. We connected with Gabrielle to learn more about her experience in the program.
What was your background in occupational therapy before coming to NYU?
My occupational therapy journey started in my home country, the Philippines, where I received my bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy. During my fieldwork, I was able to experience practicing in different settings such as pediatrics, mental health, and physical dysfunction. After receiving my degree, I passed my country’s licensure exam and became a licensed occupational therapist (OT). Shortly after taking the exam, I moved to the United States and came to NYU.
What inspired you to pursue your MA in Occupational Therapy at NYU?
I pursued an MA in Occupational Therapy out of both want and necessity. I needed a master’s degree to work as an OT in the US as per practice regulations. I also wanted to expand my knowledge of the profession and refine my skills so that I could be an even more competent practitioner in the future. I believed that NYU’s MA program would aid me in achieving that.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the program?
The whole experience is a fond memory for me. One of my favorite memories would have to be when our cohort celebrated Christmas by eating together in a nice restaurant near campus.
What is one of the most important lessons you learned during your time as an MA student?
During my time as an MA student, I worked on projects with people both inside and outside the OT field. I learned how important it is to be able to communicate and work with others effectively in order to achieve team goals. In the OT field, I will be working with different kinds of people, both clients and colleagues, so it's important to be able to adjust to different personalities.
What are your research interests? What kinds of research projects were you involved in as an NYU student?
My research interests center on studying the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions, with a focus on interventions performed in the pediatric setting. As an NYU student, I was involved in a research project about a systematic review of school bullying interventions, where we gathered information about bullying interventions done by other fields of discipline and identified which ones could be applied in practice by occupational therapists.
Where are you working now and what is your role?
I’m currently working on getting my requirements in order so that I can take the NBCOT certification exam.
What advice would you give to a student currently in the MA program?
My advice would be to enjoy the ride and take advantage of the unique opportunities that the MA program provides despite the challenges that come along with it. Those opportunities include the variety of electives that NYU offers and the fun events happening on campus. Also, being a student in the program means you have people in your cohort who come from different cultures and backgrounds; take the opportunity to work with and learn from each other.