Miranda Gould Contributing Writer
Recent UMF graduate Olivia Sullivan celebrates being hired on-the-spot for her dream job of occupational therapy. As Sullivan works towards getting into graduate school, she is also working as a registered behavior technician through A Brand New Day, an occupational therapy center for children on the autism spectrum, located in Southington, CT.
“It was really important to me to be able to work in the field I went to school for and am most passionate about,” said Sullivan. After getting the job, she got to work immediately the following week.
Before graduating, Sullivan completed over 450 hours in the occupational therapy department and at Franklin Memorial Hospital. She spent her time at the hospital every
week day split between in-patient care and out-patient care. “I worked really hard to get to this position in my life,” said Sullivan, “I’ve always wanted to be an occupational therapist, but the internship my school provided for me before I graduated really made me want it more.”
“During my time working in-patient care, I would work with patients on placing them in long-term care facilities,” said Sullivan. “When working in out-patient, I would see the same patients for a longer duration of time.” Sullivan worked with these patients on rehabilitating themselves so they could meet their daily life activities, such as hygiene needs, getting in or out of a bed, and preparing themselves meals.
Sullivan feels this internship really expanded her knowledge on occupational therapy and has prepared her for what is to come. Working as a behavior technician, she is exhibiting her new skills that she learned through her internship and time at UMF.
Her job consists of working closely with children with autism and their families in their home. She has taken on three different cases since graduating, and continues to work with them at home daily. “I feel like I’m really helping these kids and their families,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan notes that the job isn’t always easy, for sometimes the children are reluctant to listen, but it’s really rewarding at the end of the day when she realizes she has made an impact and is continuing to pick up skills that will help her grow as an occupational therapist.
In the future, Sullivan hopes to attend graduate school and get her master’s in occupational therapy. She has been working on applying and deciding which school is the right fit for her. “I think my future is really bright,” said Sullivan, “I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing.”