Ep 15. Learning Grace in The New Grad Season with Domonique Gholson

Season #1

Show Summary:

OT is not all rainbows and butterflies and unicorns and fairy dust. The fact is that there are a lot of things we would love to see changed about our profession so that it can actually rise to the potential that we all know it has. As a student, new graduate (or soon to be), it can be extremely discouraging, overwhelming, and downright scary to hear us practicing clinicians sharing the realities of what it’s like to be an OT because the truth is nothing can really prepare you until you’re actually in the field.

In today’s episode, I'm joined by Domonique Gholson, pediatric occupational therapist and current post-professional OTD student. You’ll hear us talk about the complexities and the challenges, but also the bright spots that she’s experienced as a very fresh new grad OT. It’s my firm belief that having candid conversations like this are so important because awareness of issues will also help you learn early on how to make this career truly work for you. One of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for practicing as an OT clinician is to actually be aware of some of the realities but that doesn’t mean you have to dwell on the negative because there’s so much positivity, inspiration, motivation, and hope out there. So if you’re a new grad (or soon to be new grad) who has been feeling discouraged or worried about entering the profession, I want you to listen closely to this episode and remember to keep your head up, remember your why, and know that you can absolutely enjoy your career as an OT.

In today’s show, we’re chatting about:

  • Domonique’s journey to discovering OT
  • Domonique’s student loan debt & pay off plans 
  • Realistic salary for new grads to expect 
  • The impact and burdens of student loan debt for a new grad OT 
  • How to navigate challenges that school didn’t prepare us for 
  • How burnout, work life balance, and financial pressures are leading new graduates to consider other options like entrepreneurship and non traditional paths
  • Advice for new grads feeling overwhelmed by their student loan debt
  • Advice for new grads preparing to start their first job 

Guest Bio: 

Domonique currently lives in Richmond, VA and loves to network. She received her Masters of Science from Shenandoah University and is currently obtaining a post-professional doctorate at Shenandoah. Her OT experience includes: pediatric outpatient services and most recently, working in an elementary school as an independent contractor. Her hobbies include wine tasting, hanging out with family and friends, riding 4-wheelers, and gardening. Domonique says her favorite thing about OT is the family connections and coaching, being their advocate, and being a positive influence for kids working to gain fundamental and developmental skills. 


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