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Top tags: Psi Chi Related  Chapter Life  A Better You  Conducting Research  All Things Psych  Career Advice  Going to Grad School 

An Eye on the Workplace: Full Table of Contents

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, May 4, 2020

We are so excited to have released Psi Chi's second eBook, An Eye on the Workplace: Achieving a Career With a Bachelor's in Psychology! In this digital publication, Psi Chi's veteran "Wisdom From the Workplace" columnist, Dr. Paul Hettich, brings together 31 articles published previously by numerous experts in Eye on Psi Chi magazine.

For many years, Psi Chi has been striving to share research-driven and time-tested strategies that will help our members to succeed in the workplace. Specifically, the goal of this eBook is to support those seeking to go directly into the workforce without a graduate degree. Yes, good jobs do exist for these individuals. This eBook will help you create a plan to pursue and achieve a meanginful career that is right for you.

It is thrilling to present much of Psi Chi's best career advice in this special new format, which will be useful to many students and alumni. Below, please see the full Table of Contents. We're sure that you'll see many chapters that will interest you and support your careers journey!

Psi Chi members receive a special discount. Order your copy HERE.

PREFACE By Dr. Paul Hettich

Demystifying the College-to-Workplace Transition

1. Pride of Ownership: Do You Recognize the Value of Your Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?
Stacie M. Spencer, PhD, MCPHS University

2. The Worthies Vs. the Great Unwashed: Overcoming Psychology’s Tier Problem
Jane S. Halonen, PhD, University of West Florida

3. Careers for Psychology Majors: What Every Student Should Know
James H. Thomas, PhD, Northern Kentucky University

4. Psychology Major! What Are You Going to Do With That? Strategies for Maximizing Your Degree
Derek E. Zeigler, Ohio University, and Lindsay M. Orchowski, PhD, Brown University (RI)

5. The Real and Unreal Worlds of College
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

6. Planning Your First Postcollege Job: Underemployment and What to Do About It
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

Preparing for the Workforce During College

7. Is the Student Parent to the Employee? College Experiences That Lead to a Good Job and a Better Life
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

8. What Psychology Students Learn: 10 Skills That Any Employer Will Appreciate
Jeanne M. Slattery, PhD, Clarion University (PA), and Carie L. Forden, PhD, American University in Cairo (Egypt)

9. Real-World Skills: How to Develop Marketable Career Competencies and Sell Yourself to Employers
Ayesha Shaikh, PhD, and Lorinda B. Camparo, PhD, Whittier College (CA)

10. Undergraduate Research Experience: Preparation for the Job Market
Merry J. Sleigh, PhD, and Darren R. Ritzer, PhD, Winthrop University (SC)

11. Psi Chi Officers Can Develop a Full Portfolio of Career-Related Skills
Drew C. Appleby, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and Joseph R. Ferrari, DePaul University (IL)

12. Internships!
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

The Skills and Experiences Employers Seek

13. Program Your GPS: Guidelines to Proficiency in Skills for Work and Career
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

14. Increase Your Educational ROI With Career Services, Internships, and Mentorships
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

15. Identifying and Communicating Your Skills From College to Career: Part I
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University, and Hilarie Longnecker, Med, DePaul University

16. Increase Your Odds of Employment: Add a Career-Specific Skillset
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

Resumés and Letters of Reference

17. Identifying and Communicating Your Skills From College to Career Part II
Hilarie Longnecker, MEd, DePaul University, and Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

18. From Job Outlook to Job Search: Advice From Experts
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

19. You’re Writing Your Own Letter of Recommendation
John C. Norcross, PhD, and J. Timothy Cannon, PhD, University of Scranton

20. Writing a Strong Resumé for Robot and Human Readers
Merry J. Sleigh, PhD, and Darren R. Ritzer, PhD, Winthrop University (SC)

21. Effective Cover Letters and Resumés: The Importance of Fit Before Format
Stacie M. Spencer, PhD, MCPHS University

Acing Interviews

22. Career Engagement Through Networking
John Jameson, Creative Financial Staffing, and Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

23. Preparing for Interview Success: Tips to Impress
Hilaire Longnecker, MEd, DePaul University

24. Everything I Needed to Know About Interviewing, I Learned From Watching The Bachelor
Merry J. Sleigh, PhD, and Darren R. Ritzer, PhD, Winthrop University (SC)

25. A Three-Step Guide to Exploring Occupations With Your Baccalaureate Degree
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

Special Topics

26. Do You Work and Attend College?
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

27. Returning Adult Students Turning to New Careers
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

28. To Double Major or Not to Double Major: That Is the Question
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

29. Searching for a Research Topic? Study Your Transition From College
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

30. Are You Ready for Your Many Transitions?
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

Bonus Chapter

31. Can Psychology Majors Prepare for a Career in Business? Part I: There Is HOPE
Drew C. Appleby, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis


Tags:  A Better You  Career Advice 

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How to Network?

Posted By Ayana Woodard, Psi Chi Central Office Staff, Monday, February 24, 2020

In early 2019, while staffing the Psi Chi booth at the EPA convention, several students asked what was the best way to build a solid career foundation? Without some thought, a good answer was hard to find, but this article could be a great way to help. There are three key things that can help when networking. Be yourself, stay in touch, and attend social events. Below, you can find in-depth explanations of these concepts.

Be Yourself

First and foremost, being your true self opens more doors than you could imagine. If you initially start with a personality not honest with yourself, it can drain a lot out of you and your networking relationship. Sooner or later, the other person will start to realize that you aren’t really what you say you are and that can stunt the growth of the relationship. You will feel happier with yourself and your network because it aligns with your values and personal goals. This will radiate confidence, and confidence attracts more confidence, which produces productive relationships between you and your colleges.

Stay in Touch

Second, don’t forget to stay in touch! The initial conversation is the hard part. Once you nail that, all you will need to do is check in periodically. Every few months or so, send them an email just asking how they are doing. What projects they are working on. How you could possibly help. This builds trust and authenticity. In today’s day and age, it is so easy to keep track of everyone with technology such as social media. Shoot them a message letting them know that you are ready, available, and eager to build your working relationship.

Attend Social Events

Last, but not least, diversify your events. Investigate conferences that interest you whether it be locally, nationally, or internationally. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and take that leap. You never know who you may meet. Psi Chi sets up booths over the country at six regionals (EPA, MPA, RMPA, SEPA, SWPA, and WPA), various international conventions, and two national conventions (APA and APS). Visit to learn more about them and see if we will be in your area!

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to bring some Psi Chi merchandise at these conventions. Psi Chi holds over three quarters of a million members, so there is a high chance your next contact could also be a part of the society. A Psi Chi Portfolio, Psi Chi Stylus Pen, or even a Psi Chi Badge ribbon can help you stand out from the crowd. Look around the store here This is a great conversation starter to get your foot through the door.

As daunting of a task as it may seem, networking can open so many doors and opportunities to help further your career. Whichever path you choose, it can’t hurt to have a few people in your network who can assist in your growth. Just remember to be yourself, stay in touch, and put yourself out there. So, the next time you visit a regional convention, don’t be shy. Stop by the Psi Chi table and introduce yourself! We love meeting and speaking with you all. Happy networking!

Tags:  A Better You  Career Advice 

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Advancements in Online Career Services: What You Should Know

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, June 10, 2019

Several features and services recently became available that will help you to identify and achieve your next psychology-related job. In addition to new career articles and advice posted in Psi Chi’s Careers in Psychology online resource, Psi Chi’s unique Job Board continues to recruit employers who are eagerly seeking psychology professionals, both new and experienced. Our Job Board is hosted through a company that links opportunities gathered through more than 2,500 similar job boards—that’s more partnering associations than any other careers platform. All of these jobs are then distributed through the latest, user-friendly technology. Best of all, applying for jobs is totally free! Here’s what’s new:

International Job Opportunities

Our Job Board has started welcoming positions from numerous countries around the world. Even as I write this post, I can see some jobs in London, Hong Kong, British Columbia, South Korea, and Australia. Would you like to be a school psychologist in the Virgin Islands (yes, please!) or an organizational development and learning consultant in Ontario? These are just a tiny sampling of the kind of jobs that you will find.

Throughout 2017 and 2018, our Job Board has consistently maintained thousands of active psychology-related job opportunities. Specific jobs were viewed more than 700,000 times during the 2017–18 fiscal year, and people clicked more than 50,000 times in order to learn more about specific job offers. We are excited to be adding international jobs in order to continue growing the usefulness of this program.

New Personalized Feedback on Your Resumé

When you upload a resumé, there is now a simple check box in order to simultaneously submit your resumé for a free evaluation from a trusted resumé expert at TopResume. By selecting this, the experts will personally review your resumé and make suggestions if they see room for improvement. With such a competitive market, a single, easy-to-miss mistake could cost you a future job opportunity; this service is highly important to help prevent that from happening!

As always, if you have some other question about finding a job, you can also ask the experts a question. To test this out, I personally submitted a question about whether it is necessary to include an introductory summary or objective statement on a resumé (because I have noticed some contradictions in the recent literature about that). I was excited to see that they responded quickly and did a great job answering my question.

Search Jobs by Date Posted

If you are actively searching a job, you can now check back regularly and search by date “posted” in order to quickly see any new additions. This will definitely help you save time and move quickly when that perfect opportunity becomes available.

You can also continue to search for jobs by geographic location, position, job function, or company. And the Job Alerts feature allows you to easily receive e-mail notifications when certain jobs become available that match your interests or location.

More and More Jobs

Dr. Paul Hettich, our veteran careers columnist asks you this: “What steps will you take tomorrow or next week to plan for the good job and the good life you seek, outcomes that motivated you to invest considerable time, money, and personal capital in a college education with a psychology major? It’s your decision.”

Each month, new jobs come and go. At the time of writing this post, there are 1,801 openings available in Psi Chi’s Job Board. It is up to you to actively review these opportunities, set up automatic job alerts, and apply whenever appropriate jobs become available.

Further, take some time to identify and build up the skills and experiences that employers are interested in. Learn to communicate your accomplishments in a professional manner, and identify strategies to ace the application and interview process. Our Careers in Psychology online resource is a good place to start!

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Six Extremely Interesting Applications of Psychology

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, April 1, 2019
Updated: Monday, April 1, 2019

No two psychologists are the same. As you probably know, the field of psychology has branched out in many directions and become interconnected with numerous other fields, both within the areas of psychology and beyond. For a quick idea of the many fields in psychology, take a lot at Psi Chi’s Career Finder.

The idea that all psychologists are counselors is simply no longer true—nor was it ever. Today, let’s take a look at some of the most unique and creative applications of psychology that we have come across at the Psi Chi Central Office. (You’re going to love these! They might even make up for that ridiculous April Fools post that we used to introduce this article…)

1. Studying Female Serial Killers

Forensic psychology in itself is fascinating. But a few years ago, we stumbled upon Dr. Marissa A. Harrison, who specifically studies female serial killers! Like, who even knew that this was a thing?! As it turns out, women serial killers do exist and they do tend to have different motives and methods for killing people than the male serial killers that are often portrayed and discussed on television. Learn more in what quickly become one of our most popular magazine articles.

2. Superhero Therapy

Dr. Janina Scarlet survived Chernobyl radiation when she was a child, which caused her to have lifelong health issues such as migraines and seizures. As she recently explained to the University of California San Diego Psi Chi Chapter, when she immigrated to the United States, other children often made fun of her for and asked her things like if she glowed in the dark. Janina felt like a total outcast and often wanted to die, until she saw the first X-Men film in a theater, which immediately attracted her attention because the X-Men characters were also frequently bullied for their exposure to radiation. Largely due to the X-Men, she gradually began to see herself as a survivor with special talents, instead of a victim, and so she later dedicated her life to helping others use their favorite fictional hero characters in order to better understand themselves and manage painful experiences.

3. Influencing Pixar's Inside Out

There are many ways that media psychology can (and should) be used to influence the choices that writers, producers, and directors portray characters and situations. For example, a few years ago, we reached out to Dr. Dacher Kelter to tell us about how he worked with the director of Pixar’s Inside Out. As it turns out, Dr. Keltner convinced the director to significantly alter the ending of that film in order to portray a meaningful and unique theme regarding the importance of sadness. Find out how the Inside Out was originally supposed to end and more in this magazine interview.

4. Space Psychology, the Final Frontier!

Have you ever stopped to consider whether the same psychological principles that you study here on Earth would also apply to people when they aren’t located on our planet?! For 15 years, Dr. Nick Kanas served as a NASA-funded principal investigator as he conducted psychological research on astronauts and cosmonauts. We wrote an in-depth interview with him about the various stressors of long-duration space travel, which include everything from the potential for equipment to break down to the effects of separation from family and friends. Far out!

5. Pick Up Lines

Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research has published articles about everything from the effects of music on mood to the effects of using different types of password combinations. But this year, a really unique article investigated the perceived attractiveness of people who use pick-up lines to get a date! In other words, would you expect a person to be more attractive if they used a direct pick-up line (e.g., “I just have to tell you, you have amazing eyes”), an innocuous line (e.g., “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”), or a flippant line (e.g., “If you were a triangle, you’d be acute one”)? The next time someone walks up to you and says, “Is your name Ariel? Because I think we mermaid for each other,” remember that that this is only one of the many unique situations that social psychology has explored in order to better understand interactions between people.

6. Outdoor Healing Excursions

Soldiers historically were faced with a long march or journey home after wartime. But now, technology often allows them to be shipped directly home within a few days of fighting. Because this does not give them as much opportunity to process their experiences before returning to civilian life, is it possible that this causes them to be more likely to exhibit PTSD ? This year, Psi Chi’s Austin Peay State University Chapter raised $1,100 for Warrior Expeditions, a nonprofit that helps veterans heal from wartime experiences by facilitating long-distance outdoor excursions. This organization also researches the effects of hikes, bikes, and paddles on veterans' mental health.

More Interesting Applications of Psychology

Be sure to check out Psi Chi’s free online Careers in Psychology Resource. This resource will help you choose possible career routes and sharpen your skills to acquire rewarding jobs that you can be proud of. Also, if you are interested in learning about a particular field, review the “Career Preparation” and “Fields of Psychology” sections of our Publication Search for Eye on Psi Chi magazine. You never know what you might find!

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Tags:  All Things Psych  Career Advice 

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Can Psychology Be a Science and an Art?

Posted By Jessica Costello, Stonehill College, Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Can Psychology Be a Science and an Art?

Jessica Costello, Stonehill College

It’s no secret that the field of psychology has been going through an identity crisis. At my college, as I suppose is the case at many others, the psychology department is located in the science building, despite debate over whether a field focused on the ever-changing human mind qualifies as a true science. To add to the confusion, when I graduate, I’ll earn a Bachelor of Arts.

I embraced the contradiction and chose psychology as my major in part because it rests on the border between science and art. Studying the mind engages both my desire for empirical knowledge about human functioning and my curiosity about the classic existential questions that poets, artists, and theologians have posed for centuries. Getting involved in research projects at the undergraduate level has renewed my appreciation for the scientific method and ignited my curiosity about new topics.

But I worry that current trends in the field have cast off the existential flair in total favor of empirical testing. Even if an exciting study’s conclusions have many practical applications, it’s unlikely nonacademic readers will slog through pages of dry, academic text to learn about them. As the field has retreated into the lab, researchers have lost the art of communication with the outside world.

Marianne Fallon, of Central Connecticut State University, would agree. In her recent editorial, “Writing Quantitative Empirical Manuscripts With Rigor and Flair (Yes, It’s Possible),” Fallon argues for greater accessibility in scientific writing (for example, using a concrete example to help readers visualize an abstract concept) and “encourage[s] all scientists to adopt a classic style that puts writers and readers on a level playing field” (Fallon, 2018).

My first love was creative writing. As I became more familiar with psychological literature, it seemed obvious to me that I could combine my passion for crafting prose with my love of psychology and communicate scientific conclusions to everyday people. I was going to reach the audiences whom all this advanced psychological research is meant to benefit.

Perhaps that’s partially why I was so shocked when a faculty member recently questioned the value of my creative writing minor. Given the chance, I could go on for hours about the stories I’ve written, both in terms of the content and of my experience while writing them. I could ramble about how writing makes a good metaphor for life. How creating fictional characters and living in their worlds, seeing life through the narrators’ heads, has increased my empathy for people who have experienced things I can't imagine. At the heart of both fictional stories and at the heart of our real day-to-day existences lie relationships. Whole, fractured, healthy, toxic—all of them. Writing about the lives of fictional people has given me insight into how I interact with real people.

Have psychologists been so busy trying to earn the identity of a science that they have forgotten the sense of human connection that drives so many people to study psychology in the first place?

In an article for Psychology Today, Gregg Henriques, a psychology professor at James Madison University, argues that much of the confusion over the field’s status is due to a “never ending call for more research” that muddles the larger purpose for which we carry out research. He cites the data, information, knowledge, and wisdom (DIKW) pyramid to illustrate that psychologists tend to be so concerned with gaining information that we forget how to synthesize the data we collect into meaningful knowledge. As we struggle to wade through all our studies' contradictory conclusions, we risk forfeiting meaningful progress toward that eternal, poetic wisdom for which we’ve been searching.


Fallon, M. (2018). Writing quantitative empirical manuscripts with rigor and flair (Yes, it’s possible). Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 23, 184–198.

Henriques, G. (2016, 27 Jan.). The ‘Is psychology a science?’ debate. Psychology Today. Retrieved from

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych  Career Advice 

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My True Crime Addiction Fueled My Career Choice

Posted By Janelle L. Rondeau, MS, Loyola University Maryland, Monday, May 21, 2018
Updated: Monday, May 21, 2018

Hi, my name is Janelle, and I am addicted to true crime. This addiction started as early as I can remember, as I’ve always been fascinated by things I don’t understand. A lot of what I don’t understand involves rape, murder, and other kinds of crime.

Whenever I talk about this topic, I probably come off to others as a little sadistic, and I tend to get a lot of strange looks. This is likely because my interest and favorite conversation topic is literally about other human beings getting traumatized or killed in a heinous manner. However, once I realized that I can use this passion to fuel my career, I felt a little better about my abnormal fascination. Also, now that I’ve found the My Favorite Murder podcast family, I think that my true crime addiction is completely acceptable and will rattle on about it until the end of time to whoever will listen (for those of you also interested in the topic, if you haven’t already, listen to the podcast. Seriously. Do it.).

I’ve since come to the conclusion that my attraction to true crime isn’t in the crime itself—it’s in the motive behind the crime. What could cause a person to do something like that? What happened that resulted in this severe lack of empathy? Is there a way to rehabilitate this emotional deficit?

Getting back to true crime and psychology, I knew psychology was the field for me when I found out that I can work with these people who boggle my mind so much: the murderers, serial killers, arsonists, the list goes on. That’s why I’m currently pursuing my clinical psychology doctorate degree with a concentration in forensic psychology. My ultimate goal? To assess those who claim insanity, to see if someone is competent to take the stand, and just to all around work with the people in the world who lack the capacity to feel for another human being. I don’t know if I will ever be able to stabilize the aggressive and violent behavior that are exhibited by many killers and rapists, but I do hope that, in working closely with them, I will be able to better understand the meaning behind the behavior.

Despite my long story, my message is this: there is so much more to psychology than the stigma of sitting in a room asking someone, “How do you feel about that?” Psychology offers you the opportunity to fulfill your every expectation by taking your passion (however unique) and turning it into a full-blown career. My passion is true crime. Because of the opportunities psychology offers, I get to be a forensic psychologist. Thank you, psychology, for making my dream a reality. And thank you, MFM podcast, for making me feel like I’m not alone.

Tags:  All Things Psych  Career Advice 

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Apply Psi Chi’s Goals to Your Personal Endeavors

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2018

In a recent blog article, we discussed how local chapters can use Psi Chi’s three goals at the start of each semester to create a roadmap to success. Today, let’s talk about how individual members, including alumni members, can benefit from these three goals too.

Members are encouraged to connect with a local chapter in their area to pursue their goals as a team. However, individual members and alumni are invited to complete our Annual Vision 2020 Worksheet too! This worksheet will help you organize and prepare for meaningful tasks to boost your resum
é, education, and career.

Here are the three goals and some specific suggestions to help you accomplish them.

Goal 1: Scholarly Pursuits

It’s never too late to learn something new! Specifically, this goal encourages you to “conduct exemplary research, disseminate and apply research findings, and maintain a lifelong interest in exploring the field of psychology.” Here are some ways to do this through your membership with Psi Chi.

First, be sure to visit our specific online resources about Conducting Research and Attending and Presenting at Conventions. You’ll be glad that you did—time and time again, research experiences and convention attendance help people discover their unique passions and develop lifelong professional relationships with their peers. Psi Chi features special programming at six regional conventions, APA, and APS. We hope to see you there!

Second, explore our
magazine, blog, and journal. These are all packed with up-to-date information about advancements in psychology. Plus, they also offer unique publication opportunities to Psi Chi students and faculty alike.

Goal 2: Member Development

This goal is a reminder for you to seek out “opportunities to enhance your professional and personal life.” In addition to the skills you will gain from conducting research and networking at conventions, here are three strategies to consider.

First, remember to take advantage of Psi Chi’s Career Center! You can create an account, search for jobs, and set up automatic Job Alerts—all for free. And just as importantly, you can also ask our career experts specific questions about your resumé, interviews, and application materials. Yes, this is a free opportunity to speak with living human beings who are dedicated to guiding you to your next great job opportunity.

A second member development strategy to consider is going to graduate school. Psi Chi is happy to help you with this too through our Going to Grad School Resource and our eBook, An Eye on Graduate School.

A third way to grow personally and professionally is to increase your knowledge of diversity issues and self-improvement strategies such as teamwork skills, mental health, so forth. Our Diversity Matters online resource has some concise steps for you to consider, and our new #Help_HelpedMe Initiative invites you to join us in creating a world where it is safe and acceptable to ask for help when you need it. Also, our three publications are packed with many articles about improving your learning techniques, balancing the work and school, de-stressing, and much more.

Goal 3: Chapter Experiences

Last of all, Psi Chi chapters strive to “foster a vibrant and meaningful environment for all members to contribute to and benefit from continued engagement.”

Although you might have already graduated, you are still welcome to take part in chapter and member experiences. If you have lost contact with your chapter, please take a few minutes to reconnect. Just visit our Chapter Directory, find any chapters near your current location, and then send an e-mail to those faculty advisors to let them know that you are interested in speaking with them and helping them conduct community service activities.

By pursuing each of the three goals above, you are supporting Psi Chi’s greater mission of “recognizing and promoting excellence in the science and application of psychology!” Best wishes in your many future endeavors!

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If Knowledge Is Power, Experience Is the Key: Internships and Service Learning Opportunities

Posted By Kaitlyn Louise Nasworthy, Tuesday, December 12, 2017

If Knowledge Is Power,
Experience Is the Key: Internships
and Service Learning Opportunities

Kaitlyn Louise Nasworthy, Georgia Southern University

All serious psychology students are aware of how important their degree credentials will be to their future. Their alma mater, GPA, chosen courses, and CORE course levels will be examined every time their transcript is submitted for potential jobs and graduate schools. This is why many programs on campuses nationwide push students to succeed in their degrees and earn the highest grades they possibly can earn. Psychology students get an abundance of resources that include tutoring and mentoring, research mentors, how-to guides from online schools, free pdfs of APA writing guildlines and research methods, and loads of extra credit from very kind and understanding professors. As long as students apply themselves, succeeding in getting a psychology degree presents very little difficulty.

But, being a psychology student should be more than just getting a degree. It needs to involve service learning, volunteer work, gaining experience in several areas of psychology, and taking a more hands-on approach to their career building. Although some colleges do offer service learning courses for psychology students and many offer internships, academic excellence is pushed above all else. This, combined with the lack of paid and/or part-time internships, sets up students to defer hands-on work experience in favor of studying, earning extra credit, and focusing more on lecture material than applying it to their future careers. As a result, many psychology students ignore the importance of building tangible real-world skills for their chosen careers, or miss out with experimenting in potential psychology fields they may not have considered otherwise.

Challenges to Obtain These Opportunities

Academic excellence is highly important, and I have always pushed myself to do my very best for both of my degrees. Likewise, I encourage all my peers and colleagues to do the same. However, I do wish I was more involved in service learning opportunities while in school. The few internships and service learning course slots filled up quickly, were highly competitive, and had very strict entrance criteria to meet before being considered. I have heard many other psychology students voice similar opinions on the matter as well. For example, a colleague of mine applied to one of the internship opportunities that my university offers twice, but could not get it because of no prior work experience within the field (clinical psychology). Another colleague of mine applied to this same internship and did not get it because they were 0.2 of a GPA point away from the official GPA requirement, despite having three years of experience. Then, there are students who cannot afford to work in unpaid internships because they are paying for school, and even their own bills!

Strategies to Succeed

So, how do we fix this problem? In my opinion, internships should be gateways to skill-building, and prospective students should not be required to have prior experience to be considered for them. But, internships should not be the only service learning to be presented to students. Professors and faculty could always make sure students are aware of community events that could use their help, centers that need volunteers, and part-time work on and off campus that could help students hone their psychology skills. There should always be a chance for students of all walks of life to apply themselves and learn more about what to expect from their chosen careers.

I also understand that all internships cannot afford to pay students. That being said, internships should offer more than just class credit for students because many students would have to balance class and another job with it. Perhaps they could be treated like graduate assistantships; in lieu of giving the students a paycheck or stipend, offer them a tuition discount for the semester after completing the internship. This would make paying for school easier and allow the students to perform their internship duties relatively stress-free, increasing job performance. This would be especially helpful for on-campus internships and volunteer work because both the students and the university would benefit from it.

As psychology students, we know our field has, can, and will continue to change the world. We learn this in lecture, online work, while writing research papers and reading peer reviewed journals, and creating and carrying out our own research and peer-reviewed writing. Nevertheless, learning should take place outside the classroom as much as it does inside the classroom. So apply to that internship, volunteer at your local psychology clinic, shadow a classroom, type in data for a colleague’s research, and always look out for new opportunities to learn in every psychological field. If knowledge is indeed power, than experience is the key to utilizing that power.

Tags:  A Better You  Career Advice 

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What Happens After Graduation? Tips to Find a Job

Posted By Ashley Garcia, Monday, October 16, 2017
Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017

What Happens After Graduation?
Tips to Find a Job

Ashley Garcia, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Graduation. Whether you are a senior finishing up your last research papers (oh, what a feeling), or are a sophomore getting ready to really jump into the psych major, the word graduation gives a mix of emotions ranging from anxiety to absolute joy.

One of the most common questions that students are asked is “What are you going to do when you finish school?” Are you going to go to grad school? Or do you need a break and want to travel? Should you get experience in the field and then see if you want to go back to school?

After graduation, the possibilities are endless. However, even if you aren’t planning to find a job right away, it never hurts to have a little career-search knowledge in your back pocket, just in case. Here are five steps that can help you prepare to get a job.

1. Have a Great Resumé

Did you do any internships? Were you on a research team for a professor? These experiences will help show prospective employers that you are ready to take on the challenge of starting your career. You want to be as specific as possible. What did you do in these positions, and more importantly, how do these job skills relate to the job you are applying for? You will also want to highlight any extracurriculars, like Psi Chi membership and involvement, that you might have participated in and include any customer service work (like being a server). Check out this article for an in-depth look on how to have an awesome resumé.

2. Write a Stand-Out Cover Letter

You want to make sure that you explain why YOU are a better candidate for a particular job than someone else. Think about what makes you stand out. How did the experiences you have on your resumé prepare you for the “real world?” This is where you can go really in-depth about what you did in each internship, job, or position you held. If you had to work to pay your way through school, then talk about that! Employers want to see that you have a great work ethic.

3. Utilize the Psi Chi Career Center

As a Psi Chi member, you get access to a psychology-based Career Center where you can upload your resumé, search for jobs, and apply online. Our Career Center also allows employers to look at your amazing resumé and contact you if they think you’ll be a good fit for their organization. You can even sign up for e-mail alerts when a new job is posted. With 1,000s of new job opportunities, you’ll be able to find something that fits your career goals.

4. Prepare for an Interview

Yeah this is really a thing. You can actually prepare for what interviewers might ask you, and knowing how to present yourself can be as important as what’s on your resumé. There are different types of interview processes, common questions, and methods you can learn about. This article gives a detailed explanation of how to prepare yourself and be more confident.

5. Don't Be Scared

When you land your first full-time job, what if you don’t know what you’re doing and you mess up? That’s totally okay. You’re probably going to be a little lost at first, especially because you’ll be adjusting to a life without school, which you’ve been in since you were about 6; It’s a hard adjustment. But if you are hired, it’s because the company thinks you can handle what they will throw at you. This article will help you with the transition from student to employee.

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, what questions or suggestions do you have about finding a job or life after graduation? (member login required to comment)

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych  Career Advice 

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