Undergraduate Degree: B.S. in Psychology, Minor in Vocal Jazz, Commonwealth Honors College
Current Position Title and Affiliation: PsyD Candidate at Regent University
Summary of Position:
Current graduate student studying at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is a 5-year program entailing four years of course work and then one year of an internship. At the end of the 5 years, I will be awarded my doctorate in clinical psychology.
In the future I would love to work in academia as a part-time professor doing research. I would also love to open my own clinical practice that specifically works towards helping underserved and underrepresented populations.
What do you love most about this career path?
I love everything about this career path! My favorite thing if I had to pick though, would be the unique way that this career helps people. Mental health can have a direct influence not only on other areas of our health but on so many dimensions of our lives altogether. Helping someone with their mental health therefore equates to helping them achieve a better quality of life and happiness. This is so special to me. One other thing I love is the process of therapy itself, due to its one-on-one nature (usually). I love this because it is a personalized and unique process each time you get to know a client, grow with them, and watch them heal and evolve overtime. It’s truly a dynamic partnership that the therapist creates with each of their patients involving active interaction, reflection, and evaluation. This excites me because I know I would always be kept on my toes and able to use my skills in new and different ways.
How did UMass and/or Psychological and Brain Sciences help prepare you?
I got to take a class in almost every branch of psychology thanks to PBS which helped me find what I was interested in. “Interdisciplinary Directions in Psychology” additionally helped me understand my goals and the steps needed to effectively accomplish them (i.e. A plan for applying to graduate school). The psychology classes overall prepared me for the writing aspect of graduate school as the longest paper for me this semester will be 6-8 pages while my UMass classes made me comfortable writing 10-15+ pages! Lastly, being able to join a research team and additional programs like SPACE helped transform me from an anxious undergrad who loved people to an emerging professional with experience I could take into the real world of psychology.
Tips for Current Undergrads:
Take advantage of the breadth of opportunity you have in front of you. If there is something you might be interested in the future, look around and see how you could gain some more knowledge or experience. This will save you money and time in the future! Take that extra class to see if you would really be interested in a field/specialization that you’re considering, talk to professors doing the things you want to do in the future so you can get real advice, join research teams for topics you’re interested in to get some experience under your belt… most of all though, still have fun and make sure you enjoy your four years!