She finally made it! Rosella, winner of our ASHA 2017 Sweepstakes, attended the ASHA 2018 Annual Meeting in Boston that took place this past November. Below, she answers some questions about the communication disorder event and its impact on her future speech language pathology career.
Was this the first time you attended a SLP event? If not, which others have you attended and how do they compare?
I first attended the ASHA convention in 2017 in Los Angeles. It was a great experience because I had the opportunity to attend with my friends from college. We were all seniors interested in learning more about the speech language pathology world. This past November 2018, I had the honor to attend again thanks to Mediscan/DirectEd. But this time in Boston, MA. Both conventions were very similar, making it a nice transition from one event to another. I was able to understand how the convention works since I attended to the previous one the year before.
What did you like most about the event? Did you meet other students, make friends, or find a mentor?
I enjoyed this convention so much! I met up with one of my friends I haven’t seen since we graduated, and I saw two of my professors. What I enjoyed the most was the sessions I attended.
Can you recall which session was the most impactful for you? Was there a particular speaker you liked most?
The session that impacted me the most was presented by a professor from Cal State Sacramento. She talked about how she chose this field and how much it impacted her personal life. She talked about neuroplasticity, which fascinates me. She also talked about memory and how to implement it during speech sessions.
Did you feel the program of events and sessions were beneficial to you as a graduate student?
Absolutely. Although I will start my SLP graduate program this year, it was a great experience to see what the future holds for me as a speech therapist. I also liked that the convention was the weekend before thanksgiving so I didn’t feel rushed or pressured to go back home to catch up on work.
How about the exhibit hall? What was your experience there like?
Everyone was super friendly! I felt very welcomed at the Mediscan/DirectEd booth. I had the opportunity to introduce myself to the staff and thank them in person for this experience. I walked around and I got a lot of bags, stickers, pens, notebooks, etc.! Also, I had the chance to see what new tools are being used for speech therapy.
Would you recommend attending this conference to other graduate students like yourself?
Absolutely! It’s great for networking and getting an idea of what it will be like to actually earn CEU credits once I become a licensed SLP in a few more years. I am looking forward to going again as an SLP with my friends/future colleagues.
What was the most fun activity you participated in/learned about while at ASHA?
I enjoyed the poster hall, the NSSLHA longue and of course, the sessions.
Did you like the location for the meeting?
I loved it! I had never been to Boston so it was a new experience for me. The location was perfect. I was able to take the shuttle from the hotel to the conference center. The staff was friendly and organized. It was perfect.
Tell us about a highlight for you when visiting Boston.
At night, I had the opportunity to explore Boston with my mom. The food was delicious. I loved the lobster and the clam chowder. I did get to see some historical highlights such as the Freedom Trail. Also, it was the first time I saw what snowfall looks and feels like. It was truly magical. I visited Harvard as well. The campus was beautiful, and I felt like I was in a winter movie. The entire campus was covered in snow and the students were very friendly when I asked for directions. I then took the train back to Boston.
Is there anything you would change about the convention/event or do you have a suggestion to make it better?
Not really. I enjoyed every second of it. I wouldn’t change anything!
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