BECOMING A SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST (SLP) - ALUMNI PROFILE
Michelle Kim Le
Michelle Kim Le started her degree in Fall 2013 and graduated in Spring 2018 with a Linguistics Major, Psychology Extended Minor, and Linguistics Speech Sciences Certificate. Michelle was among the Top 3 students in the Linguistics Department for Outstanding Academic Achievement in the Undergraduate program. Michelle was accepted to both McGill and UBC for their MSc SLP programs for Fall 2018; she chose UBC to stay close to her friends and family.
How did you find out about SLP as a career option?
In my second year in my Linguistics 100 class!
What attracted you to SLP?
I was a late talker; and I spoke through my ESL teacher for the first few several years of school. I did not have a voice but she worked with me to find my own. Speech language pathology is the study of developmental and acquired communication and swallowing disorders. It includes the assessment and management of such disorders. By combining my love of languages and helping others, I can improve communication skills of others and see the light flicker in their eyes. I want to help change the lives of those who struggle to communicate with others and within themselves.
What do you think made your SLP application successful?
My experiences and my Letter of Intent/Personal Statements! Since my first year at SFU, I have worked as a Recreational Instructor, SFU Tour Guide, Friends of Simon Tutor, and Behavioural Interventionist; and I have volunteered as a Speech and Hearing volunteer, Aphasia Group volunteer, Research Assistant, English as an Additional Language Peer Educator, and Student Ambassador. I found that with each experience, it gave me something new and taught me something new. Regarding my Letter of Intent for UBC and my Personal Statements for McGill, I made many and many revisions. Starting early and setting aside time each week made all the difference – I was able to ask friends and family to edit and to give advice.
What advice would you give to new undergraduates who aspire to be SLPs?
Volunteer as much as you can and start on your Letter of Intent/Personal Statements as early as you can! You will learn that being the master of your own story is no longer relevant – but influencing the stories of others is. Don’t be afraid to take different and quirky approaches to your Letter of Intent/Personal statements; most importantly, don’t be afraid to show off! Be yourself!