Successful Tips for Students: Ways to Get Involved!

What opportunities do you have as a Psychology or Human Development major/minor at UW Green Bay?

Here at UW-Green Bay’s Psychology and Human Development department, we have many different ways to learn. Sure we have classic lectures and labs, but we have individualized learning experiences as well! Individualized learning experiences are unique opportunities tailored to your interests (with the help of faculty).

Internships: Internships are a great way to gain real world experience while you’re going to school. It’s also a useful way to explore your interests. For example, let’s say you think you want to become a school counselor one day. Getting an internship within a school working with a school counselor is a great way to see what counselors do on a daily basis. This can help you realize “Yes! This is exactly what I want to do!” or maybe “You know, this isn’t what I thought it would be and I think I’m going to explore other career options.” Either way, you get the opportunity to see the career/field you are exploring first hand.

Research Assistantships: If research methods was your favorite class and you love being a part of scientific research, then being a research assistant (RA) may be something you want to look into. Research assistants work with professors to conduct research by doing things like literature reviews, creating questionnaires, data collection, data entry, statistical analysis, etc. How do you get a research assistantship? There’s a couple of ways:

#1. Check the Psych/Hum Dev want ads. If professors are on the lookout for RAs, they will likely post something in the want ads with a description of what they will be doing.

#2. Ask a professor if they need an RA. If there is a professor who studies a field you are interested in, ask them if they are in need of any research assistants.

#3. Professors may ask you! If a professor thinks you would be a good fit, they may reach out and ask if you are interested in being their RA.

Teaching Assistantships: A teaching assistant (TA) gets the opportunity to assist faculty in the classroom. This could mean learning about pedagogical techniques, but also helping to form exams and giving 1 or 2 lectures. How do you get a teaching assistantship? It’s the same process as a research assistantship!

#1. Check the Psych/Hum Dev want ads. If professors are on the lookout for TAs, they will likely post something in the want ads with a description of what they will be doing.

#2. Ask a professor if they need an TA. If there is a professor teaches an intro class that you already took, it’s likely they’ll be looking for TAs..

#3. Professors may ask you! If a professor thinks you would be a good fit, they may reach out and ask if you are interested in being their TA.

Independent Study: If you find that there is a certain topic you are very passionate about and is not offered as a class, you should consider doing an independent study. Independent study consists of working with a faculty on developing learning activities on a topic you are interested in. Independent study is offered on an individual basis. To get an independent study, talk to your advisor and they can help you find a professor who has similar interests to you.

Honors Project: Honors projects are very similar to independent study, but they require more in depth work and have a GPA requirement. With an honors project, you the student would be conducting research on a topic you find interesting. You would work with a faculty advisor to help develop a research project, and then collect data, analyze it, and even present it.

If you have any questions about individualized learning experiences, talk to your advisor or make an appointment with the Psychology and Human Development Student Success Center! We are here to help answer questions you may have and to help guide you in the right direction!

Grad School in Human Development/Psychology: Many students go to graduate school because their career goals require them to. For example, students who want to work as therapists, licensed psychologists, social workers, college professors need additional schooling. Applying for graduate school is different from applying to undergraduate is quite different in a few ways:

#1. You don’t go to grad school and then choose a field you want to study. You need to apply to the specific program at the specific university you want to attend.

#2. Graduate school admission is highly competitive. Many programs receive more applications than they can accommodate and will be selective in their admissions process.

#3. By going to graduate school, you can earn a master’s degree in about 2 years or a doctoral degree in about 4-6 years after completing your undergraduate degree. You do not necessarily need to earn a master’s degree before getting a doctoral degree and you may be able to enter a Ph.D. program right away after finishing your undergrad career.

If you’re not sure where to start in the grad school process, talk to your advisor! The blog for the UWGB Psychology department, The Psych Report, has a short series of videos discussing various topics related to applying to grad school such as writing personal statements, prepping for the GRE, and other important topics. Check them out at http://blog.uwgb.edu/uwgbpsych/shows/psyched-for-graduate-school/. If you are looking for more resources, head to the UWGB Career Services webpage at http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/.

Jobs in Human Development/Psychology: A degree in Psychology provides a multitude of opportunities for careers.There are options in human services, business, educational settings, and so much more. Not all jobs require a master’s degree! The Psych Report has a series of short videos discussing various topics related to preparing for your post-college career. Topics covered include creating a portfolio, why you need a resume, and other important topics. You can check out the videos here: http://blog.uwgb.edu/uwgbpsych/shows/psyched-for-careers/.

Career Services at UWGB are experts at helping students with career counseling, resume building, interviewing skills, searching for jobs, and so much more! Make an appointment with an advisor to answer any questions you may have! http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/

When in doubt, talk to your advisors! They are all wonderful people and want to help you during your time as a student, as well as to help you prepare for your future.

Author:                                                                                                                         Taylor is a senior majoring in Psychology and Human Development. After graduating in May 2019, she is planning on attending graduate school for student affairs/college counseling. Her favorite color is yellow and honestly prefers cats over dogs.

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