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
When financial accounts are hacked and money trails need to be followed, Rachel Hart goes into action. Rachel works as a global banking operations analyst, investigating cases of fraud for the wealth management arm of a leading financial institution on Wall Street.
“My team processes individual fraud claims and monitors global fraud activity daily. We focus on average and high net-worth individual accounts, but we also support a number of small businesses and subsidiaries of larger corporations. Our clients are domestic and international, which is both interesting and challenging,” she explains.
Rachel is a graduate of Ithaca College’s School of Business, but if you’d told her in high school she’d end up working in finance, she might have looked at you funny.
“I took AP economics as a senior in high school, and I actually hated it. I didn’t have a great experience,” Rachel says. Despite that, the international business program at IC caught her eye. She says she fell in love with the program during her very first semester.
“Being in the program and joining clubs in the business school really helped me discover how much I wanted to be in finance and business,” Rachel says.
She credits the hands-on experiences emphasized at Ithaca College for helping to prepare her for her career.
“I learned a lot in my classes, but being able to apply that to something more tangible made it really stick,” Rachel adds. “Being able to use what I learned in my finance classes in the investment club, and then eventually in the real-time portfolio management class, really helped me understand all of the theories we learned in the classroom, put that knowledge to use, and feel like a capable employee.”
Opportunities to apply your education in campus organizations and through internships are central to the Ithaca College experience.
“These opportunities teach you so many skills that a lot of students don’t get to build in other universities, especially in larger ones where you might get lost in the shuffle,” Rachel says.
More on this story: Financial Management Association and Investment Club
- Campus Life and Leadership
- Health Sciences
- Humanities and Social Sciences
- Internships and Fieldwork
- Math and Natural Sciences
- Music and Performing Arts
- All Categories