In honor of Better Speech and Hearing month, we’ll be highlighting a speech-language pathologist (SLP) every week. Today’s spotlight is on Sarah Schmidt.
Tell us a little about your background.
I graduated from Penn State in 2002 with a B.S. in Marketing and International Business and a minor in French. After working in advertising for a few years, I went back to school in 2008 to become a speech-language pathologist and graduated from Montclair State University in 2012. August will be my two-year anniversary at Magee!
Why did you decide to become an SLP?
When I decided to leave advertising and go back to school, I knew I wanted to do something where I was able to help people every day. After talking with LOTS of different people and looking into multiple fields, I came across speech-language pathology and felt it was a perfect fit as it incorporated my love for language as well as the ability to help others.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Something rewarding happens every single day that I’m at work. What I’d say is the most rewarding is when a patient is finally able to achieve a skill or a goal that (s)he had struggled with previously. Being able to see real progress in someone in only a few weeks is an amazing thing to be able to witness. Second best is being on the receiving end when patients or their families express their gratitude. That always makes my day!
Tell us about an experience that solidified for you that you made the right career choice.
I find myself frequently thinking about one patient in particular who I had the opportunity to work with soon after I started my career at Magee. He had such drive and determination, yet was faced with multiple challenges – both cognitively and physically – and he still had the courage to face each day and work as hard as he could. Being able to work with him and witness the progress he made during his time at Magee will be a memory that will always stick with me.
What are some of your passions outside of ST?
Traveling is my hands-down favorite thing to do. If I weren’t an SLP and could be a professional traveler for a living, I would definitely do that. I love doing anything outdoors – swimming, hiking, walking, snowboarding, surfing, sitting at the beach. I also enjoy cooking when I have time (usually on the weekends), and of course, spending time with friends and family.