Meet our student

Ms Meryl Kirsty Raissa Lai Kong Ling

Course of study:
Bachelor of Health Sciences/Master of Speech Pathology 2013

Which course were you enrolled in, and what year did you finish; did you study full-time or part-time? 

I enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Sciences/ Masters in Speech Pathology in 2009 and completed my studies in 2013. I was enrolled as a full-time student at the Bundoora Campus. 

What led you to the course – what pathway did you take to La Trobe?

I had quite an atypical pathway to La Trobe. I am originally from Mauritius and started my tertiary studies in New York. I came to La Trobe as an exchange student for a semester and decided to transfer because I liked the course structure here and because of the amount of clinical placement hours that were offered through the course. 

Did anything or anyone help you make your choice, and if so, how? What influence  

In high school, I knew that I wanted to work with children but was not too sure about what path to choose. One of my friend’s sister was studying Speech Pathology at La Trobe and this was how I found out about the course and got interested. My family and friends have been very supportive.

What were the best things about the course and about studying at La Trobe, for you? 

About the course… Definitely the inspiring lecturers! They were all very approachable, supportive and certainly experts in their fields. The amount of clinical hours that we had was also a plus. It is good to learn the theory behind things but being able to put the theory in practice provides the most rewarding feeling. 

Studying at La Trobe has been much more than just working towards a degree. La Trobe provides students with a lot of opportunities to engage in different activities. Through the different programs proposed, I was able to develop my leadership skills through the Infinity Leadership program and the Connect Mentor program. 

What did you like most about your campus?

The green space, especially in spring! And… The ducks! 

And the library- the comfortable couches, the rooms for group meetings or cubicles for quiet individual study and the 24 hour access,

How did your course help you after you graduated – did you have a specific job or career  and options  in mind, or further studies? 

I have only recently finished my studies and have embarked on the job hunting journey. It is all very exciting. 

While the job market has been a little challenging these days, options for speech pathologists are still wide! There are some jobs advertised in hospitals, some in aged care centers, centers for people with disability, early intervention centers, mainstream schools, private practices, special development schools. I have recently been offered a job at a private Early Intervention Centre and am looking forward to the exciting journey ahead. 

I am also considering some further studies, maybe with a focus on research, later down the track. 

If you recently graduated, what advice would you give Secondary School students about the university experience and choosing a course at university? 

Choose a course based on things you think you would enjoy this will make the three/four/ five years ahead much more pleasant! 

Make the most out of the opportunities given to you- take on leadership roles, volunteer experiences these will help you find out what you like and might guide your future choices! 

And finally do not be afraid to make mistakes! It might not seem obvious at that very moment but eventually you will see that these are the best life lessons you’ve learnt. 

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