History Major + Environmental Studies Minor = Career in Psychology…

I know that many people are currently interviewing or considering applying to MSPP, so I figured that today I’d share my “story” (there’s really not much of a plot or climax, but you got it) regarding how I ended up in the PsyD program here.

I didn’t major in Psychology during my undergraduate years at Boston College. My interest in World War II espionage stories and rocks led to a History major and Environmental studies minor. I spent my college days learning about German history and trapping, radio-collaring, and tracking coyotes in Boston-area woods as part of the Newton Coyote Project.

After college, I worked in Admissions at a Boston-based university where I read applications and promoted the university at events – I loved the job. As a university employee, I was able to take undergraduate-level night classes for free. Having started volunteering for Boston Area Rape Crisis Center during my free time, I decided to take Psychology 101 to compliment my newfound work and interest in serving trauma survivors. The class was amazing – from Seligman’s learned helplessness to linguistic relativity to the Kinsey Study to the biopsychosocial model, my mind was blown.

Cut to the chase: I took seven undergraduate-level Psychology prereqs and eventually did my MS in Psychology at BU. I tailored my masters to be more social-psychology-focused as I ended up conducting a study examining the relationship between social-category labels and stereotypes. I knew, however, that, career-wise, I was less interested in research and more interested in serving people directly in a more interactional context, just as I had been doing with BARCC.

Cut to a later chase: my partner Kishore, who is finishing up his own graduate schooling in Boston, was the one who encouraged me to pursue a doctorate in psychology at MSPP. Recognizing that it was more clinical/practice-oriented, I applied and – ta-da – the next thing I knew I was interviewing.

My decision to pursue a career in psychology – from my first prereqs to my masters to my graduate schooling at MSPP – is probably the best I’ve made. I have especially loved MSPP – even though it fosters a more clinical emphasis, the program also nurtures a social-psych/social-justice-oriented feel as well, thereby allowing me to recruit the passion and knowledge I acquired through my masters (i.e. issues concerning white privilege, sexism, etc.).

For all those applying, thinking of applying, or currently interviewing for the PsyD program, please feel free to post any comments or questions. Good luck to you all. :)

Psych book

My Psych 101 textbook. Given how much I highlighted, the non-highlighted part stands out more…

About sdmosaligantimspp

Originally from Washington, DC, I'm a second-year Clinical Psych. doctoral (PsyD) candidate. I earned my BA from Boston College and my MS in Psychology from Boston University, where I served as PI of a study that explored the relationship between social-category language and stereotypes. I work as a Peer Supervisor for Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and at MSPP, I serve as Co-Chair of the Gender Equality Committee. I like comedy, especially The Onion, and animals, and I live in Allston with five absurd roommates.
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