Shona Becker graduated with a BA in French and Linguistics in 2012. She now works as a Speech and Language Therapist.
On studying at Manchester
"I had always had a passion for languages and spoke French to a good level from studying it at school. I also wanted to know more about how language worked, so chose to study linguistics.
"I very much enjoyed both my subjects at Manchester, so was determined to continue using them in some way. My linguistics knowledge particularly helped me when I chose to do an MSc in Speech and Language Therapy, as I already had solid knowledge of syntax, morphology and phonetics.
"My degree at Manchester helped me to realise what I was passionate about, and therefore what career course to take. I am certain that the job I have chosen is the one which suits me and my interests the best. "
On skills development
"Whilst at Manchester, I volunteered by working with young people in a mentoring scheme.
"Now that I work with children of all ages (up to 18), the skills I gained in this post really helped me to develop my counselling skills with young people and I use these almost daily."
On my career path
"After graduation, I took a gap year to travel. I then undertook a 2-year PG Diploma in Speech and Language Therapy and completed a 1-year MSc conversion alongside full-time work.
"I have now worked as a qualified Speech and Language Therapist for several years. I assess the speech, language and social communication skills of children from 0-18 years old. I then decide on their treatment plans and provide therapy sessions where appropriate.
"I spend time advising teachers and parents as to how best to support the child who has additional needs, and deliver training presentations to groups of teachers and parents."
On what I get out of my job
"The career of a Speech and Language Therapist is a rewarding job where you spend every day helping people to reach their potential in terms of their ability to communicate.
"I find nothing more satisfying than knowing that I have helped someone move forward towards being able to communicate, which I consider to be a fundamental human right."
On my advice for other students
"The process of qualifying is long and can be hard, but if you push through, I can guarantee you will feel an enormous sense of achievement.
"To be a Speech and Language Therapist, above all, you need patience, perseverance, and enthusiasm. You also need empathy, and strong decision-making and organisational skills."