Speech Pathology: Chad Lazaro

Chad Lazaro graduated from the University of Melbourne’s Master of Speech Pathology 2016. He is currently a Graduate Speech Pathologist at Village Therapy in Sunbury.

Tell me about your current role and your professional and educational background? How long have you worked in your current role?

After completing my Bachelor of Media and Communications in 2012, I began working at an American summer camp for children with special needs. Working with children with a range of communication difficulties was the formative experience that opened my eyes to the wonderful world of speech pathology. After graduating with my Masters degree in Speech Pathology at the end of 2016, I started working at a private practice in Sunbury which provides services to children with speech, language and literacy difficulties.

How did you go about finding your job? What techniques, websites, contacts, networks did you utilise to get your job?

I found my current job advertised on the Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) Online Jobs Board. Before applying for my job, I made sure to research the organisation and to contact my recruiter to introduce myself and ask some further questions to help with my application. Prior to the job interview, I prepared answers to common interview questions and conducted role plays with family and friends. I also utilised Interview Stream, a free program offered by the University of Melbourne which provides an online platform to practice and video-record responses to interview questions.

What do you like most about working at your organisation?

The thing I love the most about my job is having such a diverse caseload. One minute I’m doing the Lidcombe Program with a pre-schooler who stutters; the next I’m administering a speech and language assessment to a school-age child to help inform a possible autism diagnosis. Having such a mix of cases means that no two days are ever the same, which in turn, enables me to maintain and expand my knowledge and competency across many clinical areas.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you started your professional career?

I wish I‘d known how steep the learning curve would be once I started working. I began my career thinking that I would need to know everything, however, there is still so much learning to do once you enter the field. Although this idea of lifelong learning was constantly drilled into us as students, it’s only now that I can fully appreciate how integral it is to our profession.

What is one piece of advice you would give to students who are graduating soon and are looking to work in Speech Pathology?

As the profession continues to expand, and our roles as speech pathologists diversify, maintaining a professional network is becoming increasingly more important. Thus, the best advice I can give is: stay connected with your peers and use each other as a resource! I’m very lucky to have been part of a tight-knit cohort, and as a group, we have cultivated a culture of sharing information and helping each other out. It is also reassuring to know that my university lecturers and clinical educators are only an email away if I ever need some guidance or advice.