Student Success Stories December
Heather completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at UWO. She was attracted to SLP when a family member was diagnosed with autism and she saw how speech-language therapy sessions made a difference. As part of her program, Heather completed an undergraduate research thesis on working memory in young children. In addition, Heather volunteered in Costa Rica and Guatemala where she grew in her understanding of the health care challenges facing underprivileged communities. An active volunteer, she started a student organization at Western to raise awareness of autism. Her SLP volunteer experience was completed at the Pathways Health Centre for Children (Sarnia), the London Speech and Language Centre, and the Autism Ontario Sarnia-Lambton Chapter. She hopes to work with children with developmental disorders in the future.
Why did you choose U of T?
I chose U of T because the unique curriculum allows me to understand classroom content before applying my learning in a clinical setting. Our clinical placements make up more than half our time in the program, so I know that at the end of two years I will have enough real-world experience to make me feel comfortable and confident in any work setting. I will spend my final placement in a developing country through the program’s partnership with the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation, which offers an exciting opportunity to travel and work!
What do you like about SLP at U of T?
This is my first time living in a large city and I love getting together with my classmates and exploring the different neighbourhoods, visiting the major attractions and, sampling diverse foods! Not only are the students very supportive of one another, but the faculty and staff are always available and willing to listen and help.
What do you dislike about SLP at U of T?
The only thing I dislike about the program is that during clinical placements I won’t be able to see my classmates as often as I do during our class time!
What is the most important thing you did to prepare your application for SLP?
I lived in Australia for a year after my undergraduate degree, so for me the most important part of preparing my SLP application was finding academic references. When I returned to Canada, I set up meetings with my former professors and brought my resume, a rough draft of my statement of intent, and samples of my academic work from their courses. I’m glad they remembered me and agreed to write my references!
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