By Talia Weintraub
UShadow has provided me with an enlightening experience in my continuing search for a profession that best suits my interests. I have been considering many possible careers paths, such as that of a nurse practitioner, a speech-language pathologist, and an industrial organizational psychologist. When I learned about the UShadow program offered by the Toppel Career Center as a chance to obtain a deeper understanding of one of these careers, I jumped at the chance. I was assigned to shadow a speech-language pathologist from the University of Miami Hospital. A speech-language pathologist, in short, is a highly-trained professional who evaluates and treats children and adults who have difficulty with speech, language, or swallowing. I really benefited from my UShadow experience and highly recommend the program for any student interested in learning more about a particular profession. Applying to the UShadow Program can help students gain a better grasp of what their career of interest may entail.
I started my day of shadowing at 8:30am in the Mailman Center at the University of Miami Hospital, where I met the speech pathologist I would be shadowing for the day. We briefly discussed her type of work as we waited for her first patient of the day, expected at 9:00am. The patient was a young boy of about 10 years of age needing an evaluation for potential speech problems. I observed the evaluation and watched the speech-language pathologist at work with the child, flipping through booklets and asking the child to answer questions about and describe what was occurring in a variety of pictures.
After the child left with his parents, my UShadow host took the time to answer all of my questions about the field of speech-language pathology, such as why she selected this type of work, opportunities for higher earnings in this field, the possibility of running your own business, and what opportunities exist for part-time work.
I am quite thankful for the UShadow Experience organized by the Toppel Career Center, as the knowledge gained from my one-on-one time conversing with the speech pathologist could not be matched by any article, blog, or video posted online about the field of speech pathology. Shadowing a speech-language pathologist has helped me to realize that I would like a career that involves a bit more physical activity and more potential for higher earnings. A career as either a nurse practitioner or a nurse anesthetist would be a better fit, and I would still have the option of working with patients in a hospital setting. I highly encourage anyone who is curious to learn more about potential career paths to take advantage of this opportunity. Through the program, I have gained a unique, insightful perspective that has helped me figure out my desired lifestyle and professional ambitions.