This forum was very helpful for me while applying so I figured I would now post my stats for future years. I accepted my offer at McMaster so waiting lists at the others should move J
Applied (All OT): Western, Queens, McMaster, UofT
Accepted: Western, Queens, McMaster, UofT
cGPA: 3.84 sub-GPA: 3.99
I decided in my last semester of my undergrad that I wanted to go into OT so I was worried about my experiences not being specific enough compared to what others were posting on this forum. I really tried in my essays (and in McMaster MMI) to focus on the skills I developed in other volunteer experiences and how they would make me a successful OT student and future OT. I think it’s easy to rhyme of all your volunteer experiences and sound super impressive, but I think school’s get so many applications of that manner that it is important to show HOW those skills will help you in the future. So this is my experience but I put in brackets what I mostly talked about (in essays or interview). My undergrad was in Biomed at Guelph and I knew my GPA would be a strong suit (focused on that I identified my strengths and weaknesses as a learner). I volunteered as a peer helper at Guelph for two years (developed strong communication and problem solving skills), was a UofG ambassador for four years (communication, working with diverse groups), volunteered in a physiology lab for two years and eventually lead my own research project from this lab and published in a peer reviewed journal as first author (writing skills, critical thinking, confidence with scientific literature). I volunteered outside of school in the summers at hospital specializing in dementia (compassion and creativity), with community living as a companion to an older adult with intellectual disability (advocating for individuals with disabilities), and coached soccer for young girls (healthy living, being a role model). During my summers I worked for my home city in their parks department (aka cutting grass and planting flowers), except for one summer I worked as a research student out of a big research hospital in Toronto (confidentiality and research process). I shadowed one OT for maybe 4 hours. My references were the prof who’s research lab I did my work in and my peer helper supervisor.
I think it’s important to remember that people are going into OT with all sorts of experiences and varying backgrounds. Try not to compare yourself to people on here too much, but hopefully my application offers some comfort to anyone who doesn’t have much direct OT experience
I chose McMaster because I really do feel like they are a leader in the field of OT, I think that their self-guided learning technique will challenge me and really force me to become an active learner, which in a masters leading to a profession, is really important. I was also overall impressed with their program layout (backed by research), the responsiveness of the program, and I like that they choose to interview their applicants. At the end of the day, all of the degrees teach the same thing and we come out as OTs, so I tried to not overthink it
Feel free to message me with any questions about applications, Mac MMI, or my decision making!