Expected Graduation Date: May 2018
Major/area of study: BS Psychology, BS Economics (Math Emphasis)
Career goals: I’m interested in how social science research can be applied to addressing the world’s problems. One of my ideas is to find a research position in academics combining psychology and economics, like behavioral economics research or industrial organizational psychology. I’m also considering going into more of a practice-based, application-based field that would combine both. I [worked] as a Human Resources intern over the summer, and it ended up being a combination of business and psychology by addressing problems for people in the work place, so I enjoyed that theory application in the internship.
How did you first hear about Letters and Sciences Career Services? I think I first heard about it through flyers, or maybe someone came into one of my lectures and spoke about it. Then I heard about the Career Kickstart program my sophomore year. I had really enjoyed living in the Learning Community at Chadbourne my freshman year and wanted to have another Learning Community experience that was somewhat different. After hearing about the Career Kickstart program through housing, I figured it was a great way to continue my learning experience and develop skills outside of the classroom.
What is the Career Kickstart Program? It’s a Learning Community with a focus on Career Development. They have a lot of workshops and speakers that come in, and you can go to a lot of different events.
How do you think your experiences with the Career Initiative have helped prepare you for the future? I attended quite a few of [the Career Kickstart events], and I found them helpful with answering “What should go on a resume?” and “What should you wear to an interview?”. Even more helpful, especially in the [Career Development LS210 course], was the ability to practice some of the more “soft” skills. For example, we came in for a mock interview, had a professional etiquette dinner, and had speakers discuss topics like how to set goals. Overall, being involved in the Career Kickstart program and the 210 class gives you the ability to translate the abstract things you’re learning to why they matter in the workplace.
What do you think the benefits of these Career-oriented programs are to students? I think they’ve given me a confidence that what I’m learning in the classroom is going to be desirable to employers. Sometimes there isn’t that clear connection, and there are certain majors that aren’t clearly job-applicable, but I think [Career Services] does a great job of showing you what skills you have. It’s given me confidence in my choice of majors and the path I’ve chosen here at UW-Madison.
What advice would you give to other students? I would say take initiative as much as possible. The earlier you start planning the career process, the better. Also, I would say to take some time to really think and reflect on all the facets of your personality, work, educational, and life experiences. Once you’ve thought about that, you’ll find a lot of ways to sell yourself that weren’t expected. You don’t always need directly relevant experience to be able to do the work that you’re hoping to do, and I think students should really work on selling all their experiences even if they aren’t directly related.