When Lisa Egan began to think of what she wanted to do with her life, the College of Saint Benedict senior wasn't sure of the exact field, but she knew what she wanted to do.
Egan, a psychology major, is still not set on where she is going to attend graduate school, but knows that she wants to obtain her master's degree in occupational therapy and ultimately work in human services.
"I knew I wanted to work with disabled children because of previous employment. After investigating occupational therapy, I thought it would be the perfect job for me to have because I could help people of all ages and I really like its holistic approach," she said.
The CSB/SJU pre-occupational therapy program allowed Egan to work with groups of people that she never pictured herself working with.
Egan has had the opportunity to work as an office assistant in the psychology department.
"I never thought I would be interested in working with adults or the elderly populations. However, when I volunteered in the occupational therapy adult rehabilitation unit at CentraCare Health Plaza (in St. Cloud, Minn.), I found I really enjoyed the diversity of a therapist's work day," Egan said.
Close knit community a big benefit
With the close community atmosphere of CSB/SJU, Egan has found that her relationships with her professors continue to grow.
"All of the professors I have had in my program are extremely open to helping students when they need it, and truly care about us and our success," Egan said.
Working as an office assistant in the psychology department, Egan feels this has given her the opportunity to strengthen her relationships with professors. It has also opened the door for her to do research in her field.
Being able to do extensive research and present her findings at a conference has been a highlight of Egan's experience at CSB/SJU.
"I have had the benefit of being able to work extensively on research with the psychology professors over the last few years," she said. "I was able to travel to San Francisco for the first time, when I was elected to present research that I had done at a relatively large conference."
As the end of her senior year approaches, Egan gave some advice to those who are just now embarking on their college journey. She said not to be afraid to job shadow or volunteer in areas that you may not be familiar or interested in. It is the experience of this work that allows you to learn what you may have a strength in or as in her case, open your eyes to a field that you had never even considered.