How/why did you choose Psychology as a major? I really enjoyed Learning Theory and Clinical Psychology information I learned in my intro classes. The more classes I took, the more interested I became in taking more classes. Before I knew it, I had immersed myself in enough of the field that it was clear that I should pursue psychology as a major.
What specific skills did you develop by taking Psychology courses?
Knowledge about the variety of areas that exist within the broad field of psychology.
Outside the classroom, what opportunities/experiences were most beneficial?
Working as a research assistant for two different graduate students and one faculty member over the course of my college career. Even though I didn't think that I would be interested in research, it gave me the opportunity to learn more about the field from people who had already committed themselves to it.
Did you believe that you “had to” obtain more schooling after your bachelor’s degree?
I pursued a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. At first I thought that I was interested in doing therapy, so I could have considered an M.S.W. However, the more I thought about it, the more interested I was in research testing, and the variety of job opportunities that a Ph.D. provided.
In retrospect, what would you have done differently as an undergraduate?
I was unaware of the Psychology Honors Program. I had created my own by seeking work with faculty and graduate students. But I think that the Honors Program would have made doing that much easier.
If you continued more schooling after your bachelor’s degree, share your reasons.
Because I was interested in a variety of aspects offered by psychology, I pursued a Ph.D. In the end, my specialty became Clinical Neuropsychology.
Describe how you utilize your undergraduate Psychology skills in your current job/career.
As a Clinical Neuropsychologist, my B.S. in Psychology gave me the foundation knowledge I needed for graduate school and to decide what areas of psychology did NOT appeal to me. Figuring out what I did not want to do was as important as zeroing in on what I did want to do.
What pearls of wisdom can you offer to current undergraduate students?
Talk to faculty and graduate students about your own thoughts about where you see yourself in 5-10 years and how to achieve that goal. Also remember that individuals who are at the U of I have chosen academia as their direction. So turn your attention to alumni who might have the type of job that interests you. That person may not have an interest in academia and would provide you with a broader perspective...or at least a different perspective.