I’m getting my B.A. in Psychology....what now?
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BA in psychology? Now what?


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Much like Avenue Q\'s, "What do I do with a B.A. in English," the same trepidation arises. This sheet answers what you can do with a B.A. in Psychology!

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BA in psychology? Now what?

  1. 1. WHAT’S NEXT: TIPS FOR PSYCHOLOGY UNDERGRADS! I’m getting my B.A. in Psychology....what now? It’s nearly Thanksgiving and Term Break, which will leave you with the inevitable question at family gatherings: what are you going to do What Can I Do? next? Maybe you don’t have an answer for this and the mere thought of this interaction with each one of your relatives gives you so much anxiety you need a Xanax, but have no fear, it is November - the perfect * Research Assistant time to start making decisions about what’s next come May 2010! The * Human Resources transition from college to the “real-world” is intimidating, but if you Assistant prepare and plan to the best of your ability, the transition can be quite * Child Care Worker smooth. * B.A. Substance Use Graduate school applications are due soon (usually Dec. 1, Jan., 1, Clinician (PhD) or March 1 for Master’s programs), so if you think you’d be interested in furthering your education, make sure you give your * B.A. Level Case recommenders plenty of time to write a thoughtful, personal letter. Is Manager your vita the best representation of your academic and professional * Vocational Assistance accomplishments it can be? Is your personal statement free of * Non-profit social grammatical errors, concise yet explanatory, and reflective of the fact services worker that you are a good match for that particular graduate program? Have you sent your GRE scores to the proper schools/departments? Have * Shelter assistant you written thank you letters to the professors who have written you * Admissions Counselor letters of recommendation? * Academic Support If you aim to find employment, do you know what options are Services available to you? Where do you find out about local agencies that may * Resident Director be hiring? Have you been able to highlight your “transferable job skills,” coursework, and major experience on your resume? Is it a * Program Advocate for polished, one-page representation of all the exciting things you have Persons with Disabilities done in your four years at Hiram College? Do you have a solid cover * Entry level letter than you can easily edit for specific positions to which you are management applying? * AmeriCorps Have you started networking? Have you joined LinkedIn? Have you thought about creating a personal website to highlight your skills? CLINICAL, COUNSELING OR SOMETHING ELSE? M.A., M.S., M.ED., OR PH.D? If you are considering graduate school, be aware psychology, evolutionary of the different types of programs you might apply to psychology, school psychology, and know your future career goals as well. For social work, and educational example, if you are interested in doing research, a psychology. I would Master’s degree in counseling may not be as recommend a book published beneficial as a Master’s degree in Clinical or by the American Psychological Experimental Psychology. If your grades are not as Association: Getting In: A strong in undergrad, but you hope to go on to get a Step-by-Step Plan for Gaining Ph.D. eventually, consider a Master’s in general Admission to Graduate School psychology to improve your grades while gaining in Psychology. Also check out experience in the field. Also be aware of programs APA’s Graduate Study in Psychology if you plan on such as industrial psychology, developmental taking a year or two off. ! PAGE 1
  2. 2. WHAT’S NEXT: TIPS FOR PSYCHOLOGY UNDERGRADS! JOB SEARCH TIPS I would say the two best ways to get jobs in the indeed.com and simplyhired.com which listed a field are via networking and careful internet searches. posting that was put in the Syracuse newspaper. In This means starting the process early - as soon as the ad it listed a researcher to apply to directly, NOW! My job search began in November from which resulted in a phone interview with her, a conversations I had with a researcher at a conference phone interview with her staff, and then finally an in- I attended. She put me in contact with someone person interview. I would also recommend LinkedIn. who was interested in hiring a project manager, and If you are involved with any professional then began a series of informational interviews which organizations, check their websites as well. Also, the ended with a job offer. I also had luck emailing American Psychological Association of Graduate researchers who spoke to my class/Master’s program Students offers many list-serves which advertise and she circulated my cover letter and vita among her positions from time to time - usually for Ph.D. level place of employment - this resulted in two interviews positions, but you may get a sense of what medical and a couple of other contacts regarding potential centers might need BA level research assistants. In employment options. I would also check the addition, check out NIH’s website and training websites of major research universities and apply opportunities for post-baccalaureate - especially if directly through Human Resources. For example, I you have worked with primates and would be applied on-line to a position at Yale School of interested in doing so again. I applied for anxiety Medical and the West Haven VA Medical Center and disorders research and got an email inviting me in to the next day I was called to schedule an interview. In interview with a researcher who focused on primates some centers this works better than others - it may because that is a rare experience for BA level RA’s to be dependent upon the system of that specific have. And...word of mouth! Let EVERYONE know institution. Finally, I found my job by subscribing to you are looking for a job! HIGHLIGHT THE HIRAM EXPERIENCE! Think about all unique in someway? Did you take Writing Assistant or Teaching the things you neuroscience and learn how to Assistant? Were you a student have done at map fMRI images? Think about manager at the Dining Hall, an Hiram College all your classes and your Student Caller? Did you write for that you can experiences - as a Hiram grad with The Advance? Did you travel highlight on a B.A. in psychology, you should abroad? Can you speak another your resume/vita. Can you put a have learned to write an APA language? Are you proficient in presentation or publication on paper, prepare a research proposal, HTML or other computer your vita? Can you highlight your make a professional presentation, languages? Think broadly and training in SPSS (believe me - not and learn basic statistical analysis think about how each of your as many students have experience and map fMRI images if you took unique skills can be beneficial to a in this as you think!)? Can you neuroscience in your sophomore potential employer. highlight leadership, management, or junior year. Remember to use the or a breadth of course work? Did What about extra-curricular Education that Works Conference you minor in something that activities? Were you a member of in February as a way of meeting makes your psychology major FISH, a Resident Assistant, a people and networking! IF YOU THINK OF QUESTIONS, ASK! Feel free to email me at maskulkaml@gmail.com if you have any further questions or want me to review of a cover letter, personal statement, resume, etc. Or, if you just have any questions about searching for a job/internship/potential salaries in the field, let me know as well. ! PAGE 2