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Shanaz Begum

BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy (2010)

Shanaz Begum

"I was working as a housing advisor before deciding that I wanted to have more power to help people and to make a real difference to individuals' lives. I initially thought of counselling, having never heard of Occupational Therapy."

"Whilst I was studying my Access Course, I did an online job match questionnaire which revealed Occupational Therapy as one of the jobs which suited my personality and included what I wanted from my long term career, amongst a few other jobs such as Social Work.

I went onto research the role of an Occupational Therapist and was inspired by what they do to support individuals with both physical and mental illness.

Since graduating in December 2010, I have worked in Supported Employment helping people with learning disabilities into work which I find thoroughly rewarding.

I am currently working as a Patient Advice and Liaison Officer (PALS). I can use my Occupational Therapy skills within my role, for example, I work with staff members to ensure that individuals can participate in meaningful activities, and sometimes have the privilege to facilitate this. As a result of my Occupational Therapy skills I  have the added advantage of being able to influence staff in improving services for service users.

On the course I got a lot of peer support. We were a small and supportive group of students and I have made some lifelong friends whom I meet up with on a regular basis.

From this I went onto recommend the Occupational Therapy course here at Bradford to my younger sister who graduated in 2011 and also to my daughter Elina who is currently studying on the course."