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How do speech path grad students make money while in school?


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How does everyone afford to eat and everything after they finish undergrad and start grad school? Are there any things a speech path degree qualifies us to do that a psych/history/etc. degree doesn't?

I have had a terrible time trying to find jobs in retail/food service. I apply and apply and apply, but I've only had one job in my entire life (fast food for a couple of months), and I'm 20. My resume is fairly empty aside from earning a 4.0 GPA.

Also, for those already in grad school, how many hours do you work a week, and do you find it bearable? When I had a job, I worked 15 hours a week and could have worked more if it was anything but food service. I'm assuming graduate school requires a lot more focus on studies, though.

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Have you looked into anything that might use whatever volunteer stuff you have? My understanding is that most speech-path prospective students have done some amount of work with populations that they might interact with and that could be applied to getting a job working with people in some kind of leadership/tutoring/care role. 

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Hey eggfish, first of all, I want to commend you on your 4.0. Admissions committees will consider you first , assuming you maintain it and you earn good GRE scores. Scholarships and RA/TAships are also awarded based on GPA/GRE.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about getting enough experience since schools do not generally weigh it as heavily. I worked as a behavior therapist for a child with autism and as a TA for one of my courses and to be honest, admissions never considered it.

 

However, if you want to get some experience while still maintaining your 4.0 in the school year, you can try working in the summer camps that allow you to work as a caregiver/counselor for children with disabiliies. The Easter Seals is well known all over and often supports speech and language disordered populations. They offer lots of positions every summer. Just type easter seals camp counselor or jobs and many will come up. Here's one in Wisconsin:  http://camp.eastersealswisconsin.com/content/camp-staff-positions-easter-seals-camps

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I hate to say it, but I think it will be very hard to find a job that can fit around your schedule especially when you have limited job experience. If you want to work with kids, I'd suggest babysitting. Especially at night where you could work on schoolwork when the kids sleep. Otherwise it's going to be hard to find a job that will be flexible with your hours. Most typical retail jobs I've worked will change your schedule whenever they want. Having to schedule around 5 classes isn't bad, but at my school at least grad students are in class and the clinic or an externship all day M-F, with half days on Saturday. So again, I'd try babysitting doing things like date nights. Or tutoring kids, that could be done on the weekends. Another option might be on campus jobs if you have time free in your schedule during the typical 8-5 day.

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I was a nanny while in undergrad. Just finished my first year of grad school (8 years post-undergrad), and was only able to work part-time the first semester. Then my schedule would not allow it. It's tough.

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Maybe look into flexible babysitting jobs or graduate assistantships.

 

If you're creative try teacherspayteachers.com. It's a website  where you can sell (or buy) your own therapy materials/resources to other teachers/slp.

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Also look into ABA jobs - the pay is decent (at least compared to some retail/service type jobs or minimum wage jobs) and you gain very relevant and valid experience. They seem to lean towards after school hours and weekends as well so that may be easier to balance with your own class schedule.

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Hey eggfish, first of all, I want to commend you on your 4.0. Admissions committees will consider you first , assuming you maintain it and you earn good GRE scores. Scholarships and RA/TAships are also awarded based on GPA/GRE.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about getting enough experience since schools do not generally weigh it as heavily. I worked as a behavior therapist for a child with autism and as a TA for one of my courses and to be honest, admissions never considered it.

 

However, if you want to get some experience while still maintaining your 4.0 in the school year, you can try working in the summer camps that allow you to work as a caregiver/counselor for children with disabiliies. The Easter Seals is well known all over and often supports speech and language disordered populations. They offer lots of positions every summer. Just type easter seals camp counselor or jobs and many will come up. Here's one in Wisconsin:  http://camp.eastersealswisconsin.com/content/camp-staff-positions-easter-seals-camps

 

Thanks :)  I just finished my junior year, so I will be applying to grad schools with a 4.0.  Hopefully I do well on the GRE.  Some of my professors stress that a 4.0 won't cut it if one doesn't have any experience in the field, but it seems a lot of other schools really do place a lot of emphasis on GPA, so I'm hopeful.  Thanks for the link.  I'm traveling a lot this summer, but Easter Seals is something I can look into for the summer before grad school.

Also look into ABA jobs - the pay is decent (at least compared to some retail/service type jobs or minimum wage jobs) and you gain very relevant and valid experience. They seem to lean towards after school hours and weekends as well so that may be easier to balance with your own class schedule.

I think this is a really good idea. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not in grad school yet, but I currently work in a residential setting with adults with disabilities.  I work full time during the week, but we have a number of part time staff that come in on Friday evenings and leave on Sundays.  They end up getting paid for almost 30 hours in that time period and it's pretty laid back with usually quite a bit of downtime that many use for studying, etc.  This is in Texas, but you might look into something like that wherever you are!

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I'm working as a behavioral therapists doing ABA with children with autism. Hours are flexible and most of the hours are in the late afternoon because we do in home therapy and the kids don't come back until they are done with school. Pay is okay and it is some valuable experience though it does take a toll on you because you're trying to keep up with these kids. Sometimes it's very frustrating but it's one of those few jobs where you feel very rewarded at the end of the day. 

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In addition to ABA, respite and care providing is also relevant, and decently-paid. Well, better paid than retail work at least. I had tons of work experience, and full-time work experience, but I didn't have much direct experience with the populations I now work with (individuals with special needs), but I was hired anyway. I'll be really sad to leave the people I work with when I go to grad school this fall. It does sometimes require things some people might not be comfortable with (toileting, showers/baths, preparing food, etc), but it's a pretty fun job, and you get lots of experience. Plus, you meet amazing people.

 

I plan to work in graduate school, hopefully doing something I currently do. But every graduate program I've talked to and even the current students recommended not working more than around 10 hours per week, and that's right around where I want to be. I worked 20 hours per week during my post-bacc and that was very doable, but it ate up a lot of my free time. I worked around 20 during undergrad, but I wasn't putting as much effort in to school, and I could study during my job.

 

You might have to do volunteer work before getting a job you'd like, but if money isn't an issue for you, this isn't a bad route.

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  • 5 years later...

Hey! So I am about to start graduate school in a few weeks. I am currently working as a nanny and plan to do so during my summer courses and so on (I plan on only working less than 20 hours per week when I start taking a full load of courses). Depending on what your schedule looks like I would suggest doing that or working a job with a good amount of flexibility. Also congrats on the 4.0 that will definitely be weighed heavily. Although, I would suggest trying to get more experiences in the field (volunteering/ shadowing),  joining clubs or getting involved in research. Graduate schools want to see strong academic performance but they also want to see what else you've been doing. Having all these experiences will also make it a bit easier to address specific questions in your personal statements for graduate school. Best of luck!

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You might be able to get a job at an animal shelter during the weekends, but you'll probably need at least some volunteer experience. You could also try temp agencies and more retail places (like you have been). I had the same problem of not being able to find a job (and it's partially why I'm going to grad school). I think it's going to be hard right now with so many people unemployed and forced to take those retail jobs. If you're in a small college town it will be harder, you're going to be applying to all those positions along with all the other college students who need money. 

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Maybe finding a job where you can work on the weekend. There's babysitting, part-time teacher's aide, or maybe selling clothes or other things you don't use or wear anymore. I sell part-time on Poshmark and Mercari to make extra money. Maybe a part-time job on campus? If you exhaust all your options and doesn't work out, you could take out another loan for cost of living. 

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