This spring, the Department of Psychology partnered with the Professional Development group from the College of Liberal Arts and the Psychology Majors Association to launch the first annual Psychology Career Event. Eighty-five student attendees heard five panelists speak about how their degree in Psychology prepared them for their careers. According to Nicole Pileggi, M.Ed., senior academic advisor for the Department of Psychology and one of the organizers of the event, the session was aimed at increasing awareness of the career opportunities available upon earning a degree in psychology. The panelists were from various fields of employment: human resources, law enforcement, counseling, and clinical research.
Panelists Kelly Smith and Yana Brown each entered the workforce upon obtaining their degree, and their experience in Psychology internships proved valuable to both of them. Kelly, a Class of 2014 Temple Psychology alum, is a Physician Recruitment Associate at Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine. She discussed out how her internships through the psychology program helped prepare her for her current work in human resources. While taking her undergraduate classes, Yana interned with a non-profit organization, overseeing rehabilitative services to hundreds of at-risk youths while taking her undergraduate courses. Yana quickly realized that she could take her knowledge of behavior, and apply it to a career within the criminal justice system. She currently works as an Adult Probation & Parole Officer with the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania.
Blair Chase gained a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy and Counseling after completing his undergraduate degree at Temple in 2013. He is currently working towards licensure as a professional counselor while working as a therapist for Intercultural Family Services. He is passionate about discovering the way art therapy for couples impacts communication and empathy in a relationship. Blair described his experience of working with a variety of populations during his training, which allowed him to discover what kind of therapeutic work he wished to pursue.
Sarah Babins, Ph.D., described the steps she took to become a high school counselor, which includes teaching special education students, completing a master’s level Counseling Psychology program at West Chester University, as well as the Educational Psychology doctoral program at Temple. She mentioned that she was grateful for the breaks she took between academic programs, because they gave her an opportunity to gain more work experience in these prospective fields before pursuing advanced degrees in those areas.
Julia Parish-Morris, Ph.D., a Research Assistant Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, agreed with Sarah by saying, “I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking some time to figure out what you want to do.” Julia works at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, and is involved in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Biomedical and Informatics Center. She wanted students to know that it is okay to take time to discover what you want to do. “I felt kind of lost when I graduated with a degree in psychology. I had no idea where I was going to end up, but now, I really, really love what I do. I’m just basically nosey, and I ask questions all day long, and then I know about them. It’s really pretty fun. I know psychology Ph.D.’s can sound pretty dry, but if you are a person who likes understanding how other people think, it’s kind of the best thing ever.”
Sarah Babins, Ph.D., Kelly Smith, Yana Brown, Blair Chase, M.S., and Julia Parrish-Morris, Ph.D. (from left to right)