Program: Speech-Language Pathology (2nd year)
Degrees Held: BA in Linguistics (Victoria)
Next Steps: After I am done at Western, I would ideally like to work with paediatrics or with school-aged children with traumatic brain injuries in a rehab/hospital setting. Despite feeling like I know what population/setting I want to work with, I am still amazed how each clinical placement opens my eyes to a variety of new experiences and clients that continue to challenge me.
Why Western: I chose my program because of my background in Linguistics. I knew I didn't want to become an English teacher, but I also knew that I wanted to work with people and languages. Speech-Language Pathology seemed like the perfect balance, combining my passion for working with people and my love for speech and language. I chose Western because of its high reputation among the graduate programs as well as out in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. I was also drawn to the in-house clinical placements that were offered within my first year of study, knowing that it would allow me to jump right into putting theory to practice.
What inspired me to pursue an advanced degree: I knew within my second year of my undergraduate degree that I was meant to be a Speech-Language Pathologist. With this in mind, I knew that I was required to continue on to do an advanced degree in order to get the credentials required to become an SLP.
Favourite Western memory: My favourite Western memory would have to be Orientation week, yes the whole week! As many other people coming in the program, I moved across the country (4100km!) to start the SLP program at Western. I loved being welcomed by such an upbeat, outgoing and supportive group of students and faculty. I also loved being able to plan Orientation for the incoming students and being able to be that supportive, enthusiastic second year with the permanent smile. There is nothing quite like meeting life long friends within the first few hours of the first day of Orientation!
Best thing about being a student at Western: Hands down, the best part about being a student at Western is the incredible faculty. The faculty is small, which allows you to get to know your professors and clinical supervisors and for them to get to know you. Each faculty member is more than willing to meet with you to explain a concept, to review client files, to talk about future career aspirations.. you name it, they will find a way to help you out!
Advice to students considering Western: My advice to students considering the program at Western is to volunteer, observe and shadow as many SLP's as you can. Not only does it help with the application process, but it also helps to open your eyes to the broad scope of practice that is SLP. I would also recommend taking advantage of the resources that are offered through the CSD website. Come for a tour of the in-house clinic, talk to faculty and staff, catch an existing student in the hallway and fire some questions at them, you'll never know unless you ask.