Hi, my name is Alexa Pollice and I am a second-year Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) student at Salus University.
I went to Saint Joseph’s University for undergrad, which is a Jesuit institution, focused on “cura personalis,” which means “care of the whole person.” I engaged in a lot of community service and social justice work during undergrad and found a real passion for working with the community.
We had an on-campus English as a second language (ESL) school where I led a weekly conversation group to help students work on their English conversational skills. I was already interested in SLP but that group really solidified my desire to pursue the profession. Salus University’s values are closely aligned with St. Joseph’s values. Salus University focuses on client-centered care, a holistic approach and interprofessional work opportunities among programs, which is why Salus seemed like the perfect fit for me.
Here is what a typical day looks like:
On a day when I have my practicum, I wake up at 6 a.m. I have my overnight oats for breakfast and have my lunch already made for the day.
I live with my best friend and roommate, so she gets the coffee ready as we both prepare for our day. My roommate is studying Applied Behavior Analysis at another institution and works at a special education school. Both of our fields of study overlap interprofessionally, so it has been interesting and valuable to discuss the similarities and differences in our professions.
I have around an hour-long commute to my practicum, so I leave around 6:40 a.m. to drive there. On my drive, I typically listen to a Crime Junkie’s podcast.
I get to my practicum around 7:30 a.m. I work at a private practice voice clinic with a clinician who also works as a clinical educator at Salus, Judith Koza, MA, CCC-SLP. Coming into this semester, I had limited clinical experience with voice disorders or voice-related treatment, so it has been a rewarding learning curve.
Something really unique about my practicum is that at the private practice, it is just me and my supervisor. This has helped me develop a great relationship with her, and have some really great discussions about the practice, treatment methods, and approaches to care. Since there are just two of us, the day is very fast-paced with back-to-back clients. It is really realistic to what my days will look like when I graduate from Salus, so I am thankful for this experience. My supervisor’s office is also at the South Jersey Regional Airport. She is a pilot and her husband works in aviation, so it’s a super distinctive setup. The pilots have expressed interest in accent modification, so this unique setting allows for seamless collaboration and a more private setting for other voice clients.
We work with mostly adults and also with the transgender population in gender-affirming voice therapy. I’ve always been interested in working with this population because the treatment is really dynamic. The practice is very client-centered and has a very half-and-half treatment approach of speech therapy techniques and counseling/advocacy.
I leave at around 5:30 p.m. and get home around 6:30 to 7 p.m. depending on the lovely Philadelphia traffic.
Monday through Thursday I have class from 5 to 7 p.m. but when I am at my practicum (Monday, Tuesday and Friday), I get sent a class recording and catch up on class when I have time off/once I get home.
Once I get back to my apartment, my roommate and I have dinner. We normally watch a show to wrap up the day. I would highly recommend this season of American Idol. Through my work with the voice therapy clinic, I have learned how to manipulate the voice. While watching American Idol, I understand what the judges are talking about, which is such a fascinating way to apply speech-language pathology to my daily life. We also watch NCIS, which is a huge guilty pleasure for us.
We wrap up our day watching TV and preparing for the next exciting day ahead!