40 Years of OT at York St John – Meral Altilar

Meral studied Occupational Therapy at York St John from 2003 – 2006 and has very kindly wrote a blog post for us about her time on the programme and what she is up to now!

Meral (right) graduating with friends

Meral (right) graduating with friends

At the age of 25 I made the decision to return to higher education. This was an anxious time as I left full time employment and was uncertain about university life as a mature student and fitting in. My concerns were quickly myths dispelled as I settled in to meeting new people.

I have really fond memories of YSJ. There are several lecturers who were hugely supportive in my development and worked to enable me within my preferred learning styles. I was fortunate to access some great placements within the NHS which began to guide my preferred areas of practice before qualifying and the support during placements from YSJ was excellent.

The grounds of the university were beautiful and graduating at York Minster was such an amazing experience. I frequently visit York and reminisce about the day with my university friends and the proud faces of my family. I gained some really special friendships whilst studying and still in close contact with these friends now practicing OT in the UK, Canada and Dubai!

Meral Altilar graduating

I started my career in the NHS and soon began specialising in neurology then more specifically brain injury rehabilitation services. After completing a rotation, I began working for another hospital trust in a specialist brain injury rehab centre, also working as acting neurology team lead before moving onto another trust to set up a stroke and traumatic brain injury service. 4 years ago I took a leap of faith and began working in the 3rd sector for a brain injury rehab and support charity which has involved a large amount of service and clinical development and I regard myself fortunate to be working in such a dynamic and autonomous role with clients whom inspire the team every day! I continue to support students from YSJ and other universities through placement opportunities, taking part in guest lecturing opportunities and actively engaging in projects effecting brain injury services including NHS England consultations.

I have begun setting up my own commission business which allows me to indulge in my other passion art! I attended an art and design college as a school leaver and never followed up my creative skills. Occupational therapy, it seems, has not only provided me with skills to enable my clients to achieve their goals but assisted me in managing my own work life balance and succeeding in my own goals.

The YSJOT team is aiming to compile 40 blog posts, one from each cohort for the 40th anniversary. If you are interested in contributing please contact us via email: George Peat – g.peat@yorksj.ac.uk , Maria Parks – @m.parks@yorksj.ac.uk or Kerry Sorby – k.sorby@yorksj.ac.uk

This entry was posted in YSJOT40 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply