From Student to Professional: Surviving and Thriving During Your Clinical Fellowship Many new professionals find the transition to the workplace during their clinical fellowship more difficult and challenging than they had imagined. As students, they looked forward to graduation and to beginning their careers; the truth is however, there is no class to prepare students adequately for the realities of the ... Features
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Features  |   September 01, 2011
From Student to Professional: Surviving and Thriving During Your Clinical Fellowship
Author Notes
  • Belinda Williams, MA, CF-SLP, a graduate of New York University’s Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Program, is a clinical fellow with Los Angeles Speech and Language Therapy Center, Inc. Contact her at blw252@gmail.com.
    Belinda Williams, MA, CF-SLP, a graduate of New York University’s Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Program, is a clinical fellow with Los Angeles Speech and Language Therapy Center, Inc. Contact her at blw252@gmail.com.×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / Features
Features   |   September 01, 2011
From Student to Professional: Surviving and Thriving During Your Clinical Fellowship
The ASHA Leader, September 2011, Vol. 16, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR5.16092011.np
The ASHA Leader, September 2011, Vol. 16, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR5.16092011.np
Many new professionals find the transition to the workplace during their clinical fellowship more difficult and challenging than they had imagined. As students, they looked forward to graduation and to beginning their careers; the truth is however, there is no class to prepare students adequately for the realities of the workplace. As a recent graduate and a current clinical fellow, I offer some advice that I’ve learned to my fellow students-turned-professionals. The transition to clinical fellow can be a rocky one, following these four tips will help to make the transition a bit easier.
Be a team player. Build relationships with coworkers and colleagues by offering your assistance and expertise when appropriate. You may have extensive experience with a certain population and can offer solid advice to a co-worker treating a client with that disorder. When you find helpful resources, share them with colleagues at work.
Be an asset. As a new hire, you want to establish job security by clearly contributing to your company’s bottom line. That includes everything from being punctual and professional to helping develop new programs or improving existing ones. Every employer appreciates an employee who contributes to the company to make it more prosperous and productive, particularly in today’s economic climate.
Be a thinker. As a new clinical fellow, it’s important to know when to ask questions and when to find answers for yourself. Although students are sometimes encouraged to seek out information from professors, clinical fellows are encouraged to research and attempt to answer their own inquiries before relying on their supervisors. Make sure you don’t interrupt your supervisor’s busy schedule to ask a question that you could have answered with a little resourcefulness.
Be yourself. This concept seems simple, but in new environments many people get nervous about trying to fit in with the group. Be yourself and to let your unique personality shine through. You’ll be sure to build positive relationships with your colleagues and supervisors in no time if you simply relax.
Use these tips as guidelines to help navigate you through your clinical fellowship. Remember this time is a valuable learning experience and marks the beginning of your professional career as a speech-language pathologist. Congratulations and may you enjoy your new career.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
September 2011
Volume 16, Issue 9