As a newer professional, I have learned there are numerous opportunities to learn from or serve as a mentor in our field. Additionally, mentoring takes time and practice. This year I changed jobs from a bustling ENT based hospital clinic to a small multidisciplinary private practice that specializes in pediatric care. Through my previous experience and leaning on professional mentors, I have been able to develop the audiology department from the ground up which has been challenging and rewarding all at the same time.
As I reflect back on all the small moving parts and pieces, I am thankful for the mentors that I have found who are now my peers. My biggest advice to students is mentors can be anywhere and everywhere. They may be a faculty advisor that you have from your graduate program, one of your clinical preceptors, or a research mentor from a research project or capstone. Volunteering with the national SAA and the Academy has also opened numerous doors for me to networking with individuals across the country as well. I have been able to consult with others about protocols, scheduling, and billing/coding questions that have risen over time. I would strongly recommend taking advantage of the volunteering opportunities the national SAA has to offer. Additionally, consider attending a local or national SAA event with a friend and start planning for the 2024 SAA Conference where you can also take advantage of various networking opportunities. You never know who you may meet and add to your audiology tree of mentors and colleagues!
Audrey Taylor, AuD
National SAA Advisory Committee Chair
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