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What was your experience in grad-school for Psychology?

How do you pick your focus? What was your experience like in picking your focus? What job did you end up picking? What job did you end up getting after picking your focus?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Kaci’s Answer

I was interested in many areas of psychology and ended up applying to a lot of different grad programs. During the interview process, I tried to feel out if the program, professors, and potential peers would be a good fit for me. Then, out of the ones I was accepted to, I chose the one with the best pay (program tuition paid for plus monthly stipend, because it's very difficult to have a separate job to pay for expenses while in a grad program) and most prestige. Location was also a factor for me. Once starting the program (school psychology) potential jobs after graduation were pretty specific.

Part of what lead me to psychology broadly was a career interest inventory.
During my undergrad intro to psychology class, they talked a little bit about different career fields.

Good luck!
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Mary Jean’s Answer

Great answer from first poster! I also have a master's degree in community counseling with a specialty in crisis work. Throughout this coursework, I found I was drawn to crisis stabilization and assisting people who had experienced trauma. I learned that I was able to remain calm on hectic scenes to provide that assistance. It was a better fit for me at the start of my counseling career, continuing for over 20 years. For a variety of reasons, I've gradually transitioned into a more traditional setting, providing trauma counseling in an office setting long after a traumatic event.

My PhD is in psychology, and I found my studies interesting and helpful to my practice. It was an online format, so I needed to be very organized with a high degree of self-discipline to complete all requirements. You may want to explore volunteer opportunities in your area in order to see what interests you. School guidance counselors can be a great source of helpful information. Best wishes to you!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice, Mary Jean. Alex
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Margaret’s Answer

When I was an undergrad, I took an Abnormal Psychology class and loved it so switched my major to Psychology. But I wanted to be a counselor so I went to grad school for a master's in community counseling. I loved it and it was exactly what I wanted to focus on was being a licensed mental health counselor.

Margaret recommends the following next steps:

Explore your focus - do you want to be a counselor, psychologist (go directly to PhD), social worker?
Look at grad programs that have courses that you want to learn about
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Alex
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