Disclaimer: this profile is based on the subjective experience of one individual whose name has been changed for confidentiality purposes. These views are her own. 

Student Spotlight: Melanie Moore

Applied to: University of Alberta

Accepted to: University of Alberta beginning September 2015

Undergraduate Degree: B.Sc. with Specialization in Psychology, University of Alberta

Current GPA: 4.0/First Class Standing

GPA from last 60 credits is 3.8 GPA from Prerequisites is 4.0

What is your relevant volunteer/employment experience?

I volunteered at Connect Society which is a Preschool for the Deaf. I was there for a total of four years, totalling almost 400 hours of volunteering. There, I was able to sit in on group SLP sessions, as well as collect language samples, and receive advice from the SLP on site as to how to best develop the children’s language and communication skills. I was also involved in the day-to-day activities of the classroom. This is precisely the type of environment I desire to work in, so it was invaluable experience!

I am currently working as an SLP Aide for a little boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder in an at-home therapy program. We work on various language goals, as well as other social and emotional behaviour goals. Additionally, all of my previous positions over the past seven years have been working with children of all ages, with and without various diagnoses.

What are some factors of your application that you felt made it competitive?

Other things that I believe might have helped my application:

  • I clearly stated that I wanted to work in the Edmonton area in the school system once I graduated.
  • My GRE scores were 81% percentile for Verbal, 44% percentile for Quantitative, and 93% percentile for Analytical writing (Raw scores: 159, 151, 5, respectively).
  • I went to see an advisor to help edit my Letter of Intent and my CV. This was extremely helpful!
  • I am extremely passionate about this field, in particular, working with children, and I ensured that this was evident in my Letter of Intent.
  • I only asked Referees who I knew for certain would write me a very strong character and work experience letter.

What advice do you have for other prospective SLP applicants?

The only way you will know if SLP is truly the right field for you is if you work/volunteer in that exact environment! Even if it is just being in the environment, and not exactly in the position you want, it will still be good experience. For example, when I was at Connect Society, I was a Teacher’s Aide; I was not an SLPA or anything, but I was still able to gain excellent experience working in the environment in which an SLP works! Unfortunately, other than my guesses as to what might have helped my application, I really don’t know what made the Committee decide I was a good fit for the program! So just do what you believe will give you good experience, and ensure that you are explaining why you believe it to be good experience in your Letter of Intent.

What you are looking forward to about graduate school or becoming an SLP?

I am most excited about…everything! This is my absolute passion and I am so very excited to be filling my brain with incredible knowledge about speech! And of course, I can’t wait to get out there in the field and begin to help kids learn to communicate!

Thanks for sharing your experience Melanie! If you are a current student and would like to share your profile, please contact danielle@canadianslp.com

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