Students in Dr. Melinda Dukes’ Careers in Psychology class at Tusculum College got first-hand information and advice from former students and alumni Noah Grunzweig ‘04 and Amy Willet ‘04.
Grunzweig and Willet came “back to class” on January 27 to talk to the class about life after College for students with a bachelor degree in psychology.
“The students have finished reading about why it is important to get a college degree and a chapter that gives an overview about psychology as a major,” said Dukes, associate vice president for academic affairs and professor of psychology.
Dukes asked the two young alumni to return to talk with her class about their experiences in the professional world with a Tusculum College psychology degree.
“It is great for these students to see former students and hear about their career paths after graduation with a psychology degree,” said Dukes. The visitors also talked with students about varying career paths that are available after graduation, including those in areas of clinical, counseling, abnormal and educational psychology.
Grunzweig told the students that there are several things they can do while still in college that will make them more competitive in the post-graduation job market.
“Independent research is a great way to find something really you want to sink your teeth into and can be an amazing starting point in career development,” he said.
He added that internships are also very valuable, can result in job offers and are required elements of many graduate degree programs.
“Building communications skills is critical,” Grunzweig told the group. “You are all going to work with people in some way and need to be able to write and present and to get your ideas and point of view across.”
Willet talked to the students about the GRE – Graduate Record Examinations – that are required for admittance into graduate school.
“It is important that after graduation, you continue to establish your professional credentials,” Willet said. “Whatever path you take, either clinical, school or counseling, there are ways to define yourself and be more competitive in the job market.”
Both students pointed out the long-term importance of developing relationships with professors during the undergraduate years. Grunzweig said Dr. Dukes has written several letters on his behalf for job and graduate school recommendations based on the relationship they developed while he was a student at Tusculum College.