1. Why did you choose the Occupational Therapy career at our university and how has your experience been?
I always say that Occupational Therapy chose me. The selectivity did not go very well for me and I did not have enough marks for the career I had in mind and someone told me about Occupational Therapy and I put it on my “just in case” list. The choice of the URJC was due to geographical proximity since my family lives in the southern area of Madrid.
My experience has been very good, I have been lucky enough to train with occupational therapists with a very complete professional experience, something that was not the case in other universities in the region.
2. What has led you to pursue your degree at the URJC?
As I have said before, I chose Occupational Therapy just in case it didn't give me the grade for something else and I started thinking about changing careers at the end of the first year. I finally fell in love with the profession and have never looked back.
3. What do you highlight the most or what do you value most about your university stage at URJC?
I highlight having had the privilege of learning from great references, among which are the first doctors in Occupational Therapy in Spain.
I also consider myself very lucky to have had access to the modern facilities of the university, such as the simulation apartment, where I can learn and put theoretical knowledge into practice. Being now a professor at a university, I greatly appreciate the resources that the URJC made available to me during my studies.
4. Would you change anything about your time at URJC?
I wouldn't change much of anything. I would have liked a little more training in clinical research and more internship time. This is something that has been included when moving from the diploma to the degree and that seems to me to be a great advance and a great advantage for today's students.
5. What has graduating meant to you?
I graduated in the midst of an economic crisis and the job market was going through a very difficult time, so I don't remember finishing my degree as a particularly easy time. Yes, it is true that my diploma has allowed me to be able to work in what I like and to be able to access the labor market of other countries where I have been able to specialize.
6. What is your employment situation after finishing the degree?
After finishing my degree and having difficulties finding a job in Spain, I decided to move to the United Kingdom where I worked for several years as an occupational therapist. I currently work in a public hospital in France, as a specialist in neurological rehabilitation and I teach at a university. I also dedicate part of my time to volunteering for the promotion and evolution of Occupational Therapy in France.
7. When you finish your degree and become a URJC Alumni, what advice would you give to students who are finishing their studies at this university?
The first thing, that they move, that they have initiative, that they do not wait for things and projects to fall from the sky. Luck must be sought and requires effort and desire.
Second, that they create a network, that they look for “resource” people, that they follow professionals in the area they are interested in on professional social networks (such as LinkedIn) and that they get in touch with them, ask for advice and enlarge their professional network.
And that they ask a lot, that they are curious, that they are humble and that they do not pretend to be something they are not or know something they do not know, much less believe that they are more (or less) than anyone else.
8. How do you imagine yourself professionally in a period of five to ten years?
I would not have known how to answer this question when I left the race, but not even in my wildest dreams would I have imagined being able to do everything I have done and am doing.
In 5 to 10 years from now I would like university and professional research and teaching to form a large part of my professional life.
9. Do you think that the pandemic has affected your work development, or, on the contrary, has it become an opportunity?
In my case, the pandemic has been an opportunity. I started working in my current position a couple of months before the pandemic and during that year I got a permanent position at the hospital. The fact of being able to teach remotely and hold meetings by video call allowed me to go further and meet more people, which has allowed me to participate in very interesting projects.
10. Do you plan to continue studying and do you value doing it again at our university?
Next academic year I will start a research master's degree in Paris, more than 10 years after leaving the URJC! So yes, I plan to continue studying. In my profession we have the commitment to continue training throughout our professional career.
At the moment I don't have any plans to return to Spain and therefore return to the URJC, but you never know!