What was your favorite experience while concentrating in the UM Psychology Department?
One of my fondest experiences was being a group leader in Project Outreach: Exploring Careers, which allowed me to use my skills to motivate and assist other students in their professional development. The experience allowed me to develop as a mentor-figure and it also empowered me to continue to seek similar experiences working with students.
Favorite Psychology class & why
Psychology and Spiritual Development with Richard Mann -- this was one of the most life-changing experiences I had in undergrad. This was a highly reflective class that used traditional psychological models in the context of non-traditional science (the idea of God, religion, extra-sensory perception, and more) -- which showed me that spirituality and science don't have to be mutually exclusive.
What was your first step after undergraduate graduation & how did it impact your career path?
I stayed around the Ann Arbor area and did some temporary work with University Unions and soon thereafter began my first full-time job.
What are you doing today?
I work for Campus Information as the Assistant Director -- I am the go-to guy for the day-to-day operations and am mostly focused on student employee supervision (think training, development, and engagement) In addition I work with several other aspects of our office, including marketing, recruitment, and retention. I also serve on a number of committees.
What inspired you to enter that field/job/profession?
I chose psychology because it takes into account all areas of science to explain human behavior -- biology, personality, family systems, societal influences, and much more -- this holistic view of human development is aligned with my personal values. In addition, I felt that since I am an introspective person, psychology was a vehicle in which I could better engage with my own development throughout my college experience.
How do you use your psychology undergraduate experience in your work?
Another reason why I chose psychology -- it is everywhere in daily life. The mechanisms for personal decision-making, for one. When I meet with my students in one on one meetings, I try to take into account more about the situation at hand (more than just their class year, personal interests, and performance) when we discuss matters pertaining to their jobs. I also draw upon my research and assessment experiences to analyze employee engagement and learning outcomes.
What excites you most about the future of your profession?
Psychology will always be relevant. We will always need to research human behavior. Furthermore, we have the ability to use our research with the goal of bettering the lives of those who suffer from problems.
What advice do you have for students getting a Degree in the UM Psychology Department or considering your profession?
Stay engaged in all aspects of the college experience. Ask questions. Fight the urge to Facebook in class. Speak up even when you are uncomfortable. Get out of the house (even when it's cold) and go to student organization meetings. Apply for internships. Use the resources that are available to you (Career Center, CAPS, Spectrum Center, erc) -- you pay for them.
And finally do what you do with PASSION. Do what you love. The best way to tell if you are in the right field is to examine yourself when you are exhausted, are you still interested in what you are reading? If so, stick with it.