Prior to coming to McMaster for his Masters degree in Occupational Therapy (OT), Alex Ball received his undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario in 2009, majoring in Kinesiology and minoring in Philosophy, and worked as an Acting Sub-Lieutenant Naval Reserve Officer in British Columbia and as an ESL teacher in South Korea.
After being referred to McMaster’s OT program by a friend, Alex researched the profession and program more thoroughly, and decided that it was the perfect fit for him. “I was searching for a career path that I could grow with, which capitalized on my strengths and interests, and also working in alignment with my core value of wanting to help others,” said Alex. “I specifically chose McMaster because of the self-directed style of learning that lends itself well to my needs and desire to be an independent learner.”
Alex was an ideal candidate for the program because he was willing to take on a challenge, he was motivated, and he was well suited to the McMaster learning style of self-directed and problem based learning. “Problem-based learning has been a great experience in the program, because I am able to learn and explore with other people in my program, which is a great way to work on personal skills, such as collaboration and communication, which are invaluable. It’s also been a great way to spend time with others, and have fun while being challenged and learning in the process.”
Alex recently wrapped up his final semester in the program and is eager to cross the divide of being a student to a practicing OT. He is currently involved with ongoing research evaluating and supporting employment success for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, in addition to supporting research with the Canadian Forces Health Services, and also weighing out employment opportunities ranging from community care, to outpatient mental health facilities.