Interview with QMU Occupational Therapy student, Lynsey Robertson-Flannigan

By Press Office

Lynsey Robertson-Flannigan is a mature student from Glasgow and is currently in her final year at QMU studying BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy. Lynsey now lives in West Lothian with her husband and they are expecting their first baby in July – only 11 days after she graduates from QMU!

Lynsey is the co-founder of the QMU Occupational Therapy Society, which she helped set up in 2014 to bring together occupational therapy students from different levels of study and offer each other support, advice and opportunities to socialise.

In 2015, Lynsey secured an internship with Alzheimer Scotland as part of the Santander Universities SME Internship Programme.

After becoming a mum for the first time this summer, Lynsey is keen to work with people living with dementia in the future.

How did you come to choose this course and why QMU?

“I applied and was accepted to study Occupational Therapy at QMU straight from school, but for a number of reasons did not feel ready. I completed a business degree when I left school and following this spent four years working in sales and laterally as a personal assistant in Malta for Billy Connolly’s management company, Tickety-Boo.

“My Grandmother is a retired Occupational Therapist and has always been a massive inspiration to me. When my husband and I moved back from Malta at the start of 2012, I had lengthy discussions with my Grandmother and occupational therapy professionals and decided that occupational therapy was really the career that I wanted to pursue.

“After some investigation, I knew that QMU was the only choice of university for me to apply to, given its location in a wonderful city, fantastic reputation and supportive approach to teaching.

“The amount of innovation within the university really stood out to me – for example the occupational performance room where students can practice their occupational therapy interventions in a realistic setting with real equipment.”

What’s been the highlight of the course so far?

“I’ve genuinely enjoyed every moment of this course, but completing my internship with Alzheimer Scotland would absolutely stand out for me as the highlight of my four years. I’ve met some friends for life and learned a huge amount about the importance of occupational therapy and the difference it can make to peoples’ lives. I will graduate feeling ready and excited to spread the occupational therapy message!”

“When I began the course I had a specific interest in dementia, which developed further during my studies. I saw the advertisement for an opportunity for 3 rd and 4 th year Occupational Therapy students or recent graduates to complete a three month internship with Alzheimer Scotland via QMU and Santander Universities SME Internship Programme.

“At the time I was a third year student and a little dubious about applying knowing that I would be up against 4 th years and recent graduates. However, I was not willing to let the opportunity pass me by and ensured that I completed an application that effectively communicated my interest in the area, experience that I had obtained that was relevant to the internship and my passion for occupational therapy. To my surprise and delight I was offered the job!”

How has the internship with Alzheimer Scotland helped you with your studies?

“It’s difficult to put into words how valuable this experience was. I learned so much and gained more than I could ever have hoped for. I was able to learn a great deal about how the role of occupational therapy fits into a ‘non-traditional’ setting such as Alzheimer Scotland and what we can do to help people with dementia to live well and independently.

“As a result of my time as an intern, I have a deeper understanding of occupational therapy, the issues that people living with dementia face and the valuable work that Alzheimer Scotland does. I would highly recommend the Santander Universities SME Internship Programme to other students – it is one of the best things I’ve ever done!”

Do you have any advice for students who might be interested in studying Occupational Therapy at QMU?

“Occupational therapy is a fantastic, varied career that gives you the skills to improve the lives of the people who you work with as a qualified professional. The course at QMU is, in my opinion, second to none. The teaching staff are enthusiastic, supportive and generally brilliant all round and QMU is a fantastic university.”

What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?

“Enjoy it as it is over before you know it! Don’t get too caught up in being stressed about assignments and try and focus on how much you are learning.”

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Jonathan Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: T: 0131 474 0000.

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