Natasha's Experience

Graduate Program: MS Vocational Rehabilitation

Concentration:  Rehabilitation Counseling/Vocational Evaluation


Why did you choose to UW-Stout?
I first attended Stout for my bachelor's degree in Vocational Rehabilitation. During my time in this program, I developed great connections with the students and staff. I began researching the benefits of continuing on with the graduate program in Vocational Rehabilitation at UW-Stout. Once I started talking to graduates in the field and reading amazing articles about the program in national news articles, I knew not to look any further. UW-Stout offers current and innovative ways of teaching within their graduate programs and is renowned throughout the country.

What was your favorite part of your first semester of graduate school?
My favorite part was developing a connection with my cohort while learning about my future career through hands-on methods. I was able to see myself as a professional and was treated as such.

Was graduate school anything like you imagined it to be when you first started?
It was better! I enjoyed coming to class, participating, and learning new things. Because the information was relevant and delivered in such a way that captured my attention, I looked forward to each classroom moment.

What was the biggest surprise about graduate school?
I was surprised how prepared I was for my future career. I did not realize it until my first (and last!) job interview how advanced my competencies were. When the interviewer learned I was at the time only an intern, she was impressed beyond belief. I am still in that job to this date and still hear from my coworkers and supervisors how great Stout graduates are.

How has your program shaped your life and career goals?

My graduate program taught me more than I could ever express. I am working in my dream job, doing what I love most. Because of the skills and abilities I have obtained through UW-Stout, I am confident in my work role and continue to take advantage of leadership activities. If UW-Stout offered a Ph.D. program in the area of Vocational Rehabilitation, I would not hesitate to apply.

What is one piece of advice that you wish you had received before starting graduate school?
Act as if your professors are your supervisors and your classmates are your coworkers. It will prepare you for the world of work!

What opportunities have been presented to you because of your program?

I obtained an amazing internship plus immediate employment at the same location after graduation. I co-developed a program within our agency purely because of the knowledge I was given in my graduate program. I also have been invited to national conferences to speak on subject matters related to my area of expertise.

How would you describe the UW-Stout campus?

Like coming home. The campus is easy to navigate, small, manageable and well-kept. Classes in your degree area tend to stay in one area, which allows you to become acclimated with the facilities. The buildings themselves are a mixture of historical and modernized, which really adds to the integrity of the Stout campus.

Natasha Lemler

"I did not realize it until my first (and last!) job interview how advanced my competencies were. When the interviewer learned I was at the time only an intern, she was impressed beyond belief. I am still in that job to this date and still hear from my coworkers and supervisors how great Stout graduates are."