The following is a guest post from Carolyn Pinkerton, Au.D. Pinkerton joined the Starkey team as an Education and Training Audiologist in June of 2012. She recently completed her Au.D. program at Northeastern University. Her clinical experience includes evaluations for and fitting of hearing aids and assistive listening devices, vestibular evaluations and testing of the auditory brainstem response. She has also worked closely with tinnitus management groups and pediatric patients. Pinkerton has been focusing largely on student initiatives with the Starkey University program and has presented at a number of university programs and regional trainings across the U.S. Make sure to follow her insights on Twitter @DrPinkAuD
Audiology school goes by in the blink of an eye. Between studying, internships, and social activities, there is not much time to spare, which makes every day so valuable. Here’s my list of the five things every Au.D. student should attempt to accomplish before graduation into real life.
1. Be a Leader
With so many organizations centered around the profession of audiology, there are countless opportunities not only at the university level, but also on a national level. Running for a leadership position in one of the professional audiology organizations, exposes you to numerous opportunities to meet and learn from experienced leaders and network with students and faculty from other institutions.
2. Get Involved
Now is the time to volunteer. Your developing audiology skills are invaluable to various organizations seeking volunteers for events and everyday operations. Volunteering is not just a resume booster; it allows you to fine tune your ability to work with diverse populations, which is a priceless asset that will propel you forward.
3. Seek Opportunities
Many organizations and manufacturers offer several events per year with student opportunities. These events often support areas that may not be heavily addressed during your course of study and can help facilitate further learning. Manufacturers in particular often offer events that assist with general knowledge of assistive listening devices and amplification, as well as courses that will help you become more familiar with their individual products and software. You may also seek scholarship opportunities from similar organizations for financial support towards your degree.
Starkey Hearing Technologies offers our Student Focus Workshop twice per year, as well as an Entrepreneurial Audiology Program. More information about both of these programs as well as scholarship opportunities funded by Starkey Hearing Technologies can be found at Starkeypro.com.
4. Explore Your Options
While you may have a general idea of what specialty area you’d like to focus on, it is important to explore your options. Most programs offer students several opportunities to seek different placements during their studies. It is important to become your own advocate and pursue a variety of clinical settings to fine tune what placements fit you and your career goals best.
5. Find Your “You”
Once you have explored several setting options and begin to find what setting you believe fits you and your personality best, it is important to evaluate what makes you special and valuable. Self-evaluation throughout your studies as well as feedback from your peers, professors and supervisors will help you define how to set yourself apart which is key when pursuing new employment opportunities.
What’s on your bucket list? Tell us in the comments.