Iowa State helps Mallory find true purpose
Since the fifth grade Mallory knew she wanted to work in the medical field. Her grandfather suffered from a brain tumor — which lead him to needing occupational therapy. She remembers the therapist teaching him how to put on his socks and the conversations they shared. From that moment, she knew she wanted to help people through therapy.
“I’ve always had a strong tie with people who need extra help,” she said. “I want to give people the best standard of living.”
When Mallory first came to Iowa State, she struggled choosing between pre-med and physical therapy. Although she found interest in both, she wanted a profession that allowed for a more personal connection. She ultimately decided on occupational therapy — where she could help teach patients to dress, feed, and clean themselves.
“With occupational therapy, I feel like there is more one-on-one with patients,” she said. “It allows me to have a more direct contact with future patients, and really help them get back to their ‘new normal,’ whatever that may be.”
Excited about her major and wanting more involvement, Mallory attended ClubFest. She originally joined Pre-Physical Therapy Club, but quickly realized it wasn’t for her. She heard about the Kinesiology and Health Club and decided to attend a meeting.
Immediately she felt a connection, joined the club, and accepted a philanthropy position. She loves the opportunities the club provided to meet people in her field. Her biggest enjoyment, however, is coordinating the Special Olympics State Volleyball Tournament.
“Planning the Special Olympics is the most rewarding thing I’ve done,” she said. “My heart is so full after the event and seeing how happy the athletes are.”
Despite loving her major, Mallory understands it’s not always easy. She strongly encourages those pursuing a career in occupational therapy to remember patience.
“They say patience is a virtue, and it really is,” she said. “Sometimes you don’t see the progress you want right away. But the more effort you put in, the more results you’ll see.”