Natalie Pak, Speech-Language Pathologist at Widefield School District #3, Colorado Springs, CO
KU Degree: BA Spanish, BA Speech-Language-Hearing (2013), MA Speech-Language Pathology (2015)
Why she’s a Hawk to Watch:
Natalie works with students district-wide to evaluate and provide tools for speech-language disorders. Starting a new job in a new state was overwhelming at first, but she’s finding herself at home in a career she loves.
What do you feel is your biggest achievement so far?
Earning a Master’s degree and finding a job right away.
What’s your lowest career moment and how did you pick yourself up and move on?
Beginning my career as a speech-language pathologist in a new state was difficult. I felt overwhelmed by the new responsibilities and the amount of work I had to put in. Fortunately, I had a great education to help me feel competent in my skills, and the administrators and other speech-language pathologists in my district have been extremely supportive.
Where do you hope to be in ten years?
I hope to be involved in research in communication sciences and disorders in some way, either by getting involved in a project by providing clinical services or by going back to earn my PhD.
What do you know now that you wish you could tell your 18-year-old self?
Starting new things is difficult. It will happen over and over and get easier each time, so do not turn down opportunities or experiences because they are unfamiliar.
What’s your best career pro-tip?
Do what you can but ask for help when you are unsure. You can save yourself a lot of time and stress, and you can build better relationships with co-workers.
What do you do after you’ve clocked out?
Yoga, hiking, reading for fun, going out with friends. There is so much to do out here in Colorado.
What is a fun fact about you that no one knows?
I am planning to spend my summer in Europe visiting my sister.