Stop Letting Others Take Credit for Your Work by Using This Method

speech-language pathology, SLP, #SLP2B, CFY

Stop giving others credit for your work.  It is a common pitfall – especially if you consider gender dynamics (see: Stop Negotiating Like a Girl) but there’s no reason to be passive about your achievements. Let’s pretend the following is an excerpt from a statement of purpose or cover letter:

I had the opportunity to shadow Jane Doe, SLP-CCC at Smith Regional Hospital. There, I was able to visit with patients and learn more about their experiences.

You “had the opportunity” to shadow? The way the sentence is written, you are a passive participant. Someone gave you the opportunity, when in reality you probably sought it out. I would bet that you are a motivated applicant (you’re here, aren’t you?) and you worked to get your foot in the door.

Part of showcasing your shadowing experience is also highlighting your motivation to learn. Try:

I shadowed Jane Doe, SLP-CCC at Smith Regional Hospital. Afterwards, I reflected on my interactions with patients and that  reinforced my desire to be a speech-language pathologist in a medical setting.

In one version you got lucky and someone let you into a room to talk with patients. Snooze. In another, you sought an opportunity to educate yourself and then used it to purposefully enhance your clinical practice.

Which do you think an admissions council or employer wants?

One way to claim ownership is to write in the active voice. Make yourself the subject and pack in action verbs. See what I mean here:

The point of this isn’t to make you a grammar nerd, but to help you understand how  to avoid passive voice because it gives away your power. Let’s try this again:

My university offers courses in dysphagia which taught me how to diagnose and treat swallowing disorders.


I implemented knowledge learned in academic coursework related diagnosing and treating dysphagia into clinical practice.

Much better. Ready, set, write!



Simple Ways to Narrow Down Your Grad School Application List

Speech-language pathology (SLP) grad school

This summer, use your precious free time to compile a list of graduate schools instead of sending snaps from the beach. Because even though applications aren’t due until winter, you need to start the process of applying to graduate schools at least six months before the first one is due. 

But where should you apply? Submitting an application can cost you over one-hundred dollars! Choosing your schools wisely can save you cash and stress. Take our sage advice to tighten your application list:

Know What’s Out There

According to ASHA, there are over 300 speech-language pathology programs. Educate yourself about your options using:

Make Your Program Work for Your Professional Goals

Every program is going to give you a well-rounded education because ASHA says so. However, some programs tend to specialize (or generalize, if that’s what you’re into). Rush University has a medical focus. The George Washington University has a transgender voice clinic. Make a list of 2-3 “must haves” and a few “wish list” options to narrow the field.

But Don’t Neglect Your Personal Goals, Either

Location (and cost of living) and tuition should factor into your decision. It may not be the best decision to apply to schools that come with a cross-country move or hour-and-a-half commute if you can’t bear to be apart from your hometown. For the adventurous types, can you afford to pay tuition and live in New York City?

Choose Schools You Have A Likelihood Of Being Accepted To  (And Ones You Don’t!)

Take a good, hard look at your standings. How do you stack up against other students who are being accepted to the institution? If the answer is “not so hot,” that’s ok! Apply anyway but add schools that typically accept students with your hard and soft skills. Check Grad Café for comparative data.

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