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August Alumni Spotlight Rhian Sage

rhian sage

Rhian Sage, Northern Arizona University, 3rd year Doctor of Occupational Therapy Student, Boise State Alumni

Rhian describes herself as ambitious, thoughtful, and witty

What is it like being an Occupational Therapy Student during a pandemic?

In all, I felt my professors made the transition to partial online learning really seamless. I’ve actually enjoyed having more self-directed time at home! We still get a chance to be in COVID-safe groups for lab time each week, and our clinical rotations will still offer us the in-person experience we need to be entry-level practitioners.

What resources did you use at Boise State to prepare you for OT School?

Working with my advisor was a huge help in aligning classes with the prerequisites I needed to be successful. With her help, I was able to double major which set me up to apply to nearly any OT program in the country. In addition, I found many peers in my heath science classes who were also pursuing a career in healthcare after Boise State. We were able to lean on each other to connect with practitioners in the Boise community and support each other through application processes.

What do you think was the most important experience you had at Boise State?

While at Boise State, I was fortunate to be involved in the Admissions Office first as a Bronco Ambassador and later as a Student Recruitment Specialist (SRS). At the moment, my time in the Admissions Office provided me with friendship, fun, and a space to share how much I loved Boise State with future students and families (that part was easy!). Looking back, however, this period gave me much more than that. The staff in the Admissions Office provided me with mentorship and helped me grow professionally before graduation – I still stay in touch with many of them today and seek their input and advice. More than anything, my role as an SRS provided me with confidence that I could make my post-graduate dreams a reality, and I certainly owe everyone in that office a huge thank you for their helping hands in where I am today.

Do you think Boise State prepared you for OT School?

Overwhelmingly, yes! The chance to add classes into my schedule that provided variety made me more ready for OT school than I thought I would be. I often talk with my current classmates about our different undergrad experiences and always leave those conversations grateful for the foundation that Boise State provided.

What would you tell yourself now knowing what you know now about applying to OT school?

Listen to your gut when something feels like a good fit. I interviewed for a few different programs when I was applying to OT schools and they all felt very different from one another. The program that I accepted admission to just felt “right” even though it wasn’t the place I initially thought I would end up. Be open to new places, people, and things!

What do you wish you would have known before becoming an OT student?

If I could go back in time, I would just tell myself to relax. As I’ve navigated graduate school, I’ve realized things are always changing and it’s rare that anyone’s plan stays entirely the same from start to finish. When I started OT school, I thought I was going to practice in one setting, and now I have a completely different path that I’m on. Although graduate school is a stressful and unknown experience, it has taught me to be flexible and open to new opportunities that come my way.

Would you like to learn more from Rhian? Please email Erin Colburn at for her contact information.