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How do I do well career wise, if academically I have a hard time?

I’m interested in the business and psychology field. I’m double majoring is Human Resource management and psychology and I want to become and industrial organizational psychologist #business #psychology #industrial-organizational


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Lewis’s Answer

My best advice would be to avoid the double major, especially if you have a hard time with academics. A single major is going to be hard enough for any student, let alone adding significant workload to your schedule.

Ask yourself a few different things:

- Is there an obligation in your family to hold down a double major? If so, do they understand you have difficulties with academics? Being honest with them can be a good start to figuring out yourself as a student.

- What is the market for an industrial organizational psychologist? Seems very specific. Considering psychology seems to be of interest, have you thought about seeing the courses offered and trying different psychology styles, to see if there is something else that may pique your interest? There is likely a Human Resource undergrad course you could look into, as well.

- What do you have a passion for? School can be much more enjoyable, even easier, if you're studying something you have real interest in.

Remember too, college gives you time to figure out what major you want to pursue. Focus on succeeding at your undergrad coursework first and then dabble in courses that relate to the majors you're interested in. You'll be able to gauge your interest in these courses as you take them and see if they're truly a match for your future.

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Taylor’s Answer

I think that sometimes it is not a fair comparison to look at academic success with real-world work experience success. The two areas can be very different and you may excel better in one or the other! With academics, sometimes memorization becomes too much of a focus to retain information for exams. In the working professional environment, I believe that having strong relationships with your business partners is one of the keys to sucess.

Tenacity, determination and passion around your career field is also key in excelling in your work.

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Lewis’s Answer

I neglected to mention the key to any success includes hard work, determination and passion. It won't get handed to you, but molding your school experience to something manageable will give you more opportunity to succeed in school and your career!

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Sarah’s Answer

I cannot speak directly to HRM or Pscyhology, but in any field, you need to be able to understand the information in order to implement it in practice. Sometimes grades can be an under representation of what you know, particularly if you are a poor test taker. You just need to find out what learning style works best for you, so your grades reflect your competency in your field. I was honestly a poor student in high school and really struggled in a lot college classes since I do not learn well by sitting in a classroom while someone talked non-stop for 3 hours. I prefer hands on learning, practical application, and online learning when I can break up the lecture into smaller fragments. You should take the VARK questionnaire and see if this helps you identify your strengths: https://vark-learn.com/the-vark-questionnaire/

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Riley’s Answer

I think this is a problem many people face in their life, it is common that people just don't feel motivated by schoolwork. For me, I've always struggled with staying focused and getting good grades (I'll admit, even through college I was typically a C student) but that all changed when I started at my internship. I think that just being in a career you love, doing work that you are passionate about will change your work ethic completely. I would suggest just doing your best to get through school with good grades, but once you start your career getting through the workday will be much less of a struggle.

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Kiran’s Answer

This is a great question, and I will start by saying that you shouldn't let your academic shortcomings hinder or limit your future career successes. Some people are more book smart, others are more street smart. I graduated college 12 years ago, and I will say that while this definitely helped me build a foundation and learn the foundation for establishing my career in business. If you believe in something and are truly passionate, keep your eye on the prize and stay focused! Schools also have various resources like tutoring, study groups, chat forums, I would say to take advantage of all of these resources because they will help you in the long run. Best of luck!

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Katherine’s Answer

If you are having a hard time academically, a good place to start would be to learn how you learn. Each person is different in how they learn and how they grow their skills. When you can identify how you learn, many times it leads to developing your skills. Once you move into your career, each company has their own processes and techniques to learn after you start to learn the skills real time that are needed. It is important to remember that the value of action is far greater than that of mere words.

Some skills to focus on in any situation are to grow your interpersonal or "people" skills which are a key to success. Know that you have essential skills that a company will need!




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Jamie’s Answer

I looked into this role when i was in college. It fascinated me. I ended up following the Bachelors of Arts degree with a major is psychology. I am now working for a Technology Company as a Sr. Analyst in Sales Operations. I find that the Operations side of my position actually allows me to find trends and ways to make processes and policies better. It may not be the same role that i wanted to do or exactly what you are looking for..but it is another option if you are struggling with your current path.

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Eugenia’s Answer

It seems that you know well and early that you want to be an industrial organizational psychologist as your career focus. Congratulations!

You know where your “heart” is. Now the question is how to make it happen.

Why do you have a hard time academically?
Is it because
- there is not enough time to study?
- the books used in the classroom are not interesting to you?

Or ask yourself again why you want to be an industrial organizational psychologist?
Find out the WHY, and then you will learn HOW.

I did a quick search on industrial organizational psychologist, and below is what I found on the internet.
“The career path to becoming an I/O psychologist begins with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Opportunities with a bachelor’s degree alone aren’t unheard of, but they are sparse. Most students interested in I/O psychology go on to earn an advanced degree, although they may take time off between degrees to work and gain real world experience.”
https://www.apa.org/action/science/organizational/education-training

Maybe, focus on your study in psychology. Work for a few years. Connect your interest with the real world working experience. Then, continue learning and exploring your interests. The challenges you are facing now can be the learning experience for your future growth.

I have changed careers three times due to moving to different parts of the world. It’s challenging to start from scratch to learn new trades but it can be done.

Best wishes!!

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David’s Answer

While you should do your best to learn, open your mind, and get good grades... your GPA is a number that most employers will never even know unless you share it. Get your degree, focus on learning and growing, and ensure you are pursuing something you are passionate about and you should be just fine.

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Kei’s Answer

Hi Awallei. You can improve on anything as long as you put your heart into it. Sometimes we will experience roadblocks when we are trying to achieve something. What's important is how you bounce back and eliminate those roadblocks.

You are challenged academically, my suggestion is this. Allot time to study more. If you plot an hour a day currently, maybe increasing it to 2 hours will help. Take good notes and find learning strategies that will hep you improve. Remember, there are 3 types of learners. I am a visual learner so I work well when I read and see images or examples. What works for you? Reach out for people who has good grades and ask for their help. Joining virtual study sessions might help too.

Wishing you the best of luck! You can do this.

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Adriane’s Answer

Hello! I realize there are a lot of answers in this thread, but as someone who attempted to work in I/O psychology, hopefully I can help.

I think having a hard time academically can mean a lot of different things, ranging from feeling overwhelmed/bored/annoyed with school work to trying and enjoying it, but your grades aren't there. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, the majority of jobs with I/O psychologist in or around the title will generally require an advanced degree, so that may or may not be what you really want to pursue depending again, on where you are on that spectrum.

If you're interested in the concepts behind I/O psychology, like how people will work together differently in different environments, or organizational structure and process enhancement etc., then having the psychology and business background can be helpful to get you into organizational consulting or coaching. This doesn't really require an advanced degree, but it does require a lot of analytical and interpersonal skill with an understanding of how people work (regardless of the business world) and how business works (regardless of the people). If you have the skills and can make those insightful connections, that will be more important than your GPA or coursework. I would recommend practical learning, through internships or even shadowing folks in the field to get a sense of what they do and if that interests you.

In the end, though, if the double major is what's stressing you out, there's no need for it. Yes, it can be an impressive resume builder, but you can get the information and skills you need from a single major and a minor or just taking some elective courses in your additional area of interest. Recruiters using a GPA cut off would rather have a higher GPA in one major than a lower GPA in 2 and your interests/experiences will shine in the cover letter, course list, and interview.

Hopefully that helps!

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Jarenn’s Answer

I wonder how would you characterize having a hard time academically and if you have thought through that to see what you can take action on changing so that you are more confident and are learning and developing as much as you can in your current program. Are you taking on too many courses at once and could spread it out? Are you procrastinating on assignments, studying, or getting team projects done and need to improve on time management? Identifying the problem and root cause may help you.

Also, everyone learns differently and if you can change up how you are learning, that may help! For example, I don't learn as much if I am just reading a bunch of research and then writing a paper on it as I do if I were to create a presentation or training program on the topic, or have a robust dialogue with co-workers. I need to be able to speak to the content in order to truly process that information.

If your program has tutors, TAs, or counselors, please utilize those resources as well!

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Gabriela’s Answer

Hi Awallei,

It is very rare to find students who excel at all their courses easily, and comprehend all the material at all times without struggle or placing extra effort. The chances are that a majority of college students are asking the same question when encountering a more challenging course, material, or year. College is not easy, but the fact that you are pursuing your degree and are being successful at it so far, already proves that you are fit for the professional word.

Unlike courses, which cover a lot of breadth, you would likely not need to be great at everything in a career. It would be enough to pick some things that you like and to keep building skills in that area, eventually specializing. Finding what you are truly passionate and what is a great match takes time, however, that's why you need to keep exploring all the different courses until you figure it out.

Best of luck!

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