On February 16th, we were joined by three SLPs for a panel discussion on the process of preparing for a clinical fellowship (CF) position in speech-language pathology. Here are some highlights of their advice:
Job Search and Application Tips
Consider your priorities: Do you care about work-life balance? Salary? Productivity expectations? Location and cost-of-living? Mentorship and experience in an area of clinical interest? How you “fit” with your mentor and future coworkers? Values? Having your mentor on site? All of these can be important factors for determine what is the right fit for you.
Networking is key: Some ideas for expanding your network include:
- Join mentorship programs, such as through the LGBTQ+ CSDSA, state speech-language-hearing organizations, or the ASHA S.T.E.P. Program.
- Attend conferences, which might offer discounted registration fees for student volunteers.
- Attend continuing education events.
- Reaching out to researchers and clinicians asking about the work and presentations. They often appreciate hearing from interested students!
In an interview, be prepared to describe yourself as a whole person, in addition to your clinical knowledge and experiences on your resume.
When asking them questions, consider how you fit with the organization, what clinical opportunities the position will provide, and how the position aligns with your priorities. You are filling a need for them, so it is important that you ask questions to gauge if their organization and team fit you.
Transitioning from Graduate Student to Clinical Fellow
As a CF, you will have freedom to try your own style and make your own clinical decisions. This can be a big leap!
Before you start your job, have a clear conversation with your supervisor about expectations, learning style, and how you prefer to receive feedback.
The transition may feel overwhelming at first, but it gets easier! Stick with it, and have confidence in your training and abilities.