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Gail Boniface

I went to university determined to complete a degree in English and History. I had no real idea of any kind of career and was a little scared I might end up teaching!

I left that degree after the first year and through my then boyfriend I came across Occupational Therapy. He was training as a mental health nurse and introduced me to some really inspiring people. I was really lucky in that they let me spend a few days following them around and seeing what they did.

I was able to ask lots of questions, gaining real insight into some of the problems patients and clients had in getting on with life. That is how I still see Occupational Therapy: a profession that enables others to get on with everyday living in a very practical way, regardless of any illness or disability they may have.

I have always been grateful to those who let me into their working lives and gave me, for the first time in my life, the desire to pursue a career. I continue to take my lead from those who engaged with me all of those years ago, sparking in me a passion for my profession and how it could influence others.

Engaging with people is essential. As a member of the teaching staff here at Cardiff University, how could I not engage with those out there in my own field?