Convocation Spotlight: Brett Lendsay

Brett Lendsay is graduating with a master of science in occupational therapy offered by the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.

05 June 2023

Brett Lendsay is graduating with a master of science in occupational therapy offered by the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Lendsay is a proven leader, recognized by the Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation at the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Conference, where he received a Barb Worth Emergent Leader Award. The national award recognizes the leaders of tomorrow and reminds them to balance emotional investment in the challenges at hand with personal well-being. 

What initially drew you to occupational therapy?

I had never heard of occupational therapy until my partner was accepted at the University of Alberta in 2015. I was inspired by my partner (who is now a practising occupational therapist) to pursue a career change. Seeing her explore the broad scope of the profession intrigued me and I decided to apply. The rest is history!

What achievement, accomplishment or moment are you most proud of from your time in the program?

I'm not sure if there is a singular moment that sticks out for me. I just hope that my leadership initiatives enhanced the experience of my peers, faculty and other stakeholders and will continue to impact future cohorts of students.

What was the biggest challenge you faced?

The biggest challenge I've faced is the transition from working in a different field to studying in health care as a mature student. It takes a bit of a perspective change to go back to school and requires a different skill set, but it has been exciting.

How did you stay motivated and who helped you keep going when things got tough?

My fiancée has been my biggest support throughout my studies; she's been a constant motivator and my biggest advocate. I've also relied heavily on my friends and fellow classmates while in this program. There have been many hours of collaborative studying, preparation and group work that have helped me get through the program when times were tough.


What advice would you give to a student thinking of entering the MScOT program?

I would encourage students to strongly consider this profession, which has an incredibly vast scope and is an ever-evolving field. There is something for everyone in this profession.

What have you learned about yourself, and how will you use this going forward?

I've learned a lot throughout this program: Leverage your own authenticity and uniqueness; listen to others — it is one of the most valuable skills we can develop as human beings — and replace judgment with curiosity. 

I'm looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life which will likely be full of joys, opportunities and challenges. Going forward into my career, I'd like to embrace a mindset of trying, doing, failing and trying again which I think is captured beautifully in this quote by Arthur Ashe, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”

What comes next for you in your career/academic journey?

The next steps will include joining my fiancée back in Saskatchewan as an occupational therapist and starting to build my practice. I would consider doing my PhD and teaching in the future, but for now I'm just happy to join the workforce as a new OT!

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