'I have had so many doors opened to me with this degree...'
Residential Youth Worker, Barnardos
After having a number of roles with health providers over the past few years since graduating, Aimee now works for the children’s charity Barnardos as a residential youth worker, caring for local kids from the most vulnerable backgrounds. She credits her background in speech-language therapy as invaluable in getting her to the place she is now and sees how highly transferrable her knowledge and clinical skills have been.
‘My job involves living week-on week-off in a therapeutic residential home with young people who walk in a world I was never even aware of. It is my role to be a caregiver creating an environment where youth are empowered to make positive decisions, changing the direction of their lives.
‘I choose to study speech because I wanted to work with people; this career path in youth work satisfies that drive while also advancing my hope for how our society might look in the future. I believe these young people in particular have the most potential for great change and I am passionate about supporting them to realise these changes,’ she says.
Having always wanted a career helping others, Amiee says her Speech and Language Pathology degree set her on a path equipped with a wide range of supportive skills and science-based knowledge to provide the best possible care to all age groups.
‘Though this role is more based in social work than speech pathology, I am grateful that I chose speech pathology as my path of study as it stands out. You come away from your studies with clinical skills, a professional identity, and a diverse knowledge base covering child development, learning and developmental disorders, human anatomy, applied communication, brain injury, and rehabilitation.
‘Employers recognise the challenging nature of the degree and it elicits a high level of respect. It differs from other courses of study in that you are doing practical throughout almost the entire degree; though theoretical work is of course important, it is the constant application of this theory and the development of the “soft skills” that sets apart a skilled clinician from a university graduate.’
‘Speech wasn’t my first choice - my high school careers advisor suggested speech for me but I didn’t know what it was so I ignored her advice, and even at university I was concerned it was not a good option as it was too niche. However I have proven myself wrong many times since graduating, I have had so many doors opened to me with this degree and I would not hesitate to encourage others to pursue this worthwhile and challenging course of study.’