The Hippo


Mar 17, 2018








 What else are you really into?

I enjoy crafts. I enjoy making things. ... I like painting. I enjoy cooking.

Lisa Minahan
Speech Therapist


 Explain what your current job is.

I am the owner of Premier Speech Therapy. I am not only the business owner but I am a speech language pathologist and I treat children and adults in my private office, as well as I contract into a school system a couple days a week. … We work with lots of different difficulties that people are having, whether it be saying their sounds more clear, or in the manner that they’re supposed to be saying them. We work with language disorders, we work with stuttering, I work with voice disorders. 
How long have you worked there?
I formed Premier Therapy in 2006.
How did you get interested in this field?
I wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do ... way back when. I have a bachelor’s degree in rehab services from Springfield College. One of the classes we were required to take was called Career Explorations. We were required to go out and observe all different kinds of therapies and all the things that have to do with rehab. And I went and observed a speech therapist, working with a woman who had had a stroke. She wasn’t able to speak but … [the therapist] was helping her along a little bit and all of a sudden the woman came out with the word. She was so happy and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that would be awesome.’ ... So I looked into speech therapy and that’s when I started looking for jobs in that area.
What kind of education or training did you need for this?
To be a speech language pathologist, you need a master’s degree. … Then, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, they are called ASHA, they require you to do a nine-month fellowship, where you’re working in the field as a regular therapist; however, there’s a licensed speech language pathologist following you. They’re looking at your notes, they’re observing you, and after nine months of your fellowship they either approve or disapprove you to the licensing board. … And you need to be licensed in each state [you work in].
How did you find your current job?
I worked in and out of long-term care facilities, outpatient rehab hospitals, one school, and I really did love the outpatient rehab setting. It was very diverse. Seeing kids, seeing adults. Every hour was different throughout my day. Then I had my son and I thought that I would like to be able to manage my own hours and time and manage my own caseload. … I decided to start to look at going out on my own. So I put an ad in the phonebook … and I got client, and then another and another. So I started dropping hours at the hospital and eventually I found a contract job in a school for a couple days a week and it was enough for me to break away from there and fully go out on my own.
What’s the best piece of work-related advice anyone’s ever given you?
People have said you have to stick with what you’re comfortable with. However, moving out of your comfort zone usually pushes you a little further. … It’s finding a balance between what you’re comfortable with and how far you’re willing to push yourself to get further down the line. 
What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?
I wish I knew how hard it was to be the boss. It’s not always easy to be in charge of other people. 
What is your typical at-work uniform?
Most of the time I’m business casual.
What was the first job you ever had?
I was 13 and I was a kitchen assistant at a conference center in North Andover, Massachusetts.
— Ryan Lessard 

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