Hello, readers! My name is Jen and I will be posting here on the MSPP blog. I wanted to take a few moments to introduce myself and share how I found my way to MSPP.
I am a student in the online Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology (MAOP) program at MSPP. Because this is an accelerated (10 month program), I am simultaneously in my first and last year! Let’s just say that I am a little more than halfway done with my MAOP. While I am an online student, I also happen to be a resident of Newton and I am happy to welcome MSPP to the neighborhood!
I am originally from Ohio and moved to Boston when I was 17 to study linguistics. As you will come to learn, I am a bit of a risk-taker. When I moved out here, not only did I have no family in the area, but I had never even been to New England before! It was a huge risk, but one that I am thankful I decided to take. I loved the area and my school from the start. Just a year into my undergraduate experience, I had taken a few psychology courses and really fell in love with them. Soon, I switched my major to psychology. I continued in my studies and participated in the co-op program at my school. For my position, I worked as a call-taker on a substance abuse helpline at a public health non-profit. Six years later, I am now the assistant director of that same helpline! I love being able to take on a leadership role in a program that I am so invested in and that has given me so much.
As I began thinking about furthering my career, I considered going back to school for an advanced degree. The logical step in that field would be to study public health or non-profit management. However, I am not one to always take the conventional route. So, I took to the internet to research different options that suited my interests, strengths, and experience. When I found articles on organizational psychology, I was intrigued. I took an organizational psychology class in undergrad and enjoyed it, but did not consider it as a career option at the time. This time around, it really spoke to me. It catered to my love for psychology of course, as well as my appreciation of efficiency and compromise, and it would be helped by my management experience. I was sold!
I began searching for organizational psychology programs around Boston. At this point, I could not afford to cut down on work to be a full time student. I was pretty sure I would have to study part time and take four years or more to complete my degree. However, the moment I stumbled upon the online organizational psychology program at MSPP, it was like the clouds parted, the sun shone, and the birds sang. Here was a program that I could complete in 10 months and I could continue to work full time! This program also had a great experiential education component so that I would have experience when I graduated. I was in disbelief that I could have found a program so well-suited to my needs. I immediately contacted Dr. Gregory (the head of the program) and started on my application. As they say, the rest is history.
I started at MSPP this past May and I will be finished next March. In addition to school, I work full time at my job, help part-time at another organization, and have an on-going volunteer commitment handling the social media for a cancer research foundation. On top of juggling all of these things (and having a life!), I also needed to learn how to be an online student. I had never even taken an online class before! Being the risk-taker I am, I welcomed these challenges. I have now found balance and am incredibly happy in the program.
These past 6 months have been challenging, but also extremely rewarding. I have loved getting to know my classmates and learning from both them and my instructors. I am sure that the next 4 months will continue to test and enlighten me. I look forward to sharing the rewards and taking on the challenges with you during the rest of my time at MSPP!