Michelle Brownlee is School Partnership Director with PresenceLearning. Michelle started her career with PresenceLearning as a contracted speech-language pathologist in 2012 when she was living in Japan. Michelle explains how she made the transition from contractor to employee and offers advice to those looking to advance their career with PresenceLearning.
Can you tell me a little about your background and how you came to work for PresenceLearning?
- I have been a licensed Speech Language Pathologist since 1991. For several years, I lived in Japan. Although I speak some Japanese and was employed part-time teaching English, I was unable to work as an SLP. The year prior to my big move back to the United States, I decided to take a look at what opportunities were available back home. I stumbled upon PresenceLearning during my online search, and ended up working as a contracted clinician while living overseas. It was a wonderful surprise. In 2016, I transitioned to a full-time employee position with PresenceLearning. I am grateful for the opportunities to take on several different roles within the organization.
How long were you contracted with PresenceLearning before you made the transition to become a full-time employee?
- I worked as a contracted provider for four years prior to transitioning to a full-time employee.
What led you to make this change?
- I had been working full time as provider with lead duties when a Senior Clinical Consultant opportunity became available. I was not only excited about PresenceLearning as company, but also about my own potential for growth. The transition to an SCC was the perfect fit and I quickly applied.
What have you liked about moving away from clinical practice?
- I love the challenges that present themselves every day. They are no longer student based, but have the bigger vision in mind. I get to share our mission of helping to provide services to all students, explain the benefits of teletherapy with others, and answer specific clinical questions to people who want to truly understand how we do what we do. This service delivery model is still new to many people, but we continue to show them what is possible.
Is there anything you miss about providing direct therapy?
- Of course! I miss meeting my new students every fall, setting goals, and helping them to make positive improvements in their communication and language skills. It is such a treat to help others achieve their goals. However, I feel I still get to do that but in a different way.
How has your career grown?
- My career has been super exciting here at PresenceLearning. I spent three years as a contracted clinician, one year as a Lead Clinician, one year as a Senior Clinical Consultant, one year as a School Partnership Clinician, and have now moved into a School Partnership Director position. It has been super exciting and obviously I love change and challenges.
What piece of advice would you give someone applying for the School Partnership Clinician position?
- You have to believe in yourself and in PresenceLearning to do this job well. It entails sharing your enthusiasm about what we can do here at PresenceLearning with potential customers. It is important to honestly share our strengths and our challenges. It also requires someone who enjoys coordinating and collaborating with team members, as well as some flexibility. Every day is a little bit different.