Ithaca College Will Make You Ready
With a vibrant community, professors who inspire, and the hands-on experience you need to dive into your field with confidence.
Amanda Schlenker arrived at Ithaca College in the fall of her freshman year knowing she wanted to become an occupational therapist. What she didn’t know was how far an IC education could take her in this interactive, hands-on field.
She completed Ithaca’s five-year, B.S./M.S. occupational therapy program in 2009, and then launched her career in Boston with Thom Child & Family Services, a leading provider of programs for children with developmental difficulties.
“It was a job where I had to be independent,” she says. “My classes and fieldwork and internships gave me the experiences and the self-confidence I needed.”
Her experiences included work at the College’s own OT clinic, internships that put her classroom knowledge to real-world test, an anatomy class where she dissected a human cadaver (an option for OT students), and a thesis exploring how happiness affects performance, which she presented at the World OT Conference in Santiago, Chile.
Now she’s back in the Ithaca area, working at Child’s Play Occupational Therapy where she helps kids overcome challenges to live more fulfilled lives.
“I specialized in sensory integration,” Amanda says. “Everything we do comes to us through our senses. If there’s a problem there, it can throw off a kid’s world. So I come in and help families see how their child is interpreting the world differently, and then I offer ways to help get the kids back on track.”
Child’s Play is run by the IC faculty member who taught the pediatric occupational therapy courses Amanda took at Ithaca.
As for the future, Amanda is full of ideas. She’d like to combine music with occupational therapy, practice in a low-income community, or perhaps return to South America to share her skills.
“I knew in high school that OT would be a good fit for me,” she says. “I just followed that pathway through IC to graduation and into my career. There are so many opportunities. Ithaca’s given me the resources I need to learn and grow.”
>> More on this story: Occupational and Physical Therapy Clinic
Looking for a good reason to study business at Ithaca College? Shamika Edwards has one for you: “Ithaca’s School of Business absolutely prepares you for the real world,” she says.
And the keys to that preparation? For Shamika, it starts with the faculty.
“They push you to advance personally and professionally,” says Shamika, who’s now pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at Ithaca College. “They care about whether you’re growing, whether you’re learning, whether you’re getting something out of the experience.”
Then there’s the fact that at Ithaca, preparation for the real world of business means immersing yourself in it.
En route to her undergraduate diploma, Shamika led a team of Ithaca students to an impressive second-place finish in the Deloitte NABA NY Case Study Competition, a rigorous national student challenge sponsored by the National Association of Black Accountants and international financial services giant Deloitte.“They said we were one of the best-prepared teams,” says Shamika, who now has a job waiting for her at Deloitte when she finishes her M.B.A. “Ithaca faculty were extremely helpful, staying after hours to help us prepare. It was such a valuable part of my education.”
Shamika, who’s from Barbados, came a long way to attend Ithaca. And she’s poised to go even farther when she graduates.
“I’ll be at a global firm solving global problems in a global world,” she says. “I am a stronger person, a wiser person, and a better person because of Ithaca.”
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