Share Your Story
Aimee (Waring) Meentemeyer (B.S. 2009; MHRIR'10)
* How/why did you choose Psychology as a major?
I have always been interested in human behavior, how the brain works, and what drives us to make the choices we make.
* What specific skills did you develop by taking Psychology courses?
Studying psychology challenged me to think critically, learn to ask the right questions, and become a problem-solver. It helped me better understand people; how we grow and develop, what influences us and drives us. These are transferrable skills needed in any line of work--and outside of work, as a member of society.
* Outside the classroom, what opportunities/experiences were most beneficial?
Through the Community Projects course, I participated in the Girls Advocacy Project, serving as an advocate for a girl with juvenile justice system involvement. This was a phenomenal experience to give me some real-life exposure to the possibilities of what I could do with my degree, while making a positive impact in the community. As a former competitive figure skater, I also had a unique opportunity to get some valuable public speaking experience as a TA for KINES 104. I am a natural introvert, but teaching about something I loved (and was knowledgeable about) was a great way to get me comfortable in front of a large group.
* Did you believe that you “had to” obtain more schooling after your bachelor’s degree?
Yes. In order to get the type of job in the field(s) that I was considering, I knew that likely meant more school.
* In retrospect, what would you have done differently as an undergraduate?
While I started out as a Psychology Major from the beginning, I didn't know what I wanted to do from a career perspective until late in my junior year. Looking back, I could have gotten more serious about trying to determine my career path earlier on, so that I could have selected a few more courses relevant to my field and/or attempted to get an internship to gain some hands-on experience earlier.
* If you continued more schooling after your bachelor’s degree, share your reasons.
Graduating in 2009, the economy was at a low point and the job market wasn't great for recent grads. In doing some research on jobs in Human Resources, I knew I would be better able to compete if I had an advanced degree. Lastly, Illinois has a great program through the School of Labor and Employment Relations!
* Describe how you utilize your undergraduate Psychology skills in your current job/career.
I use my undergraduate psychology skills every day- both in my career and outside of work. In HR, I need to be an active listener, ask the right questions, think critically and solve problems. I need to be able to "read people" and understand what motivates and incentivizes leaders and associates. I need to understand how they learn, grow, and develop--and help facilitate that. All of these necessary skills are grounded in a solid understanding of human behavior.
* What pearls of wisdom can you offer to current undergraduate students?
The skills you are learning as a Psychology student are transferrable to any line of work and will have a positive impact in how you interact with others outside of work, as well. Don't underestimate the power of mentors. Even informal, one-time meetings with others can teach you a lot about what you are interested in (and not) and what you want to do (and don't want to do). Take advantage of any hands-on experiences you can get outside the classroom, whether internships, volunteering, etc. You learn so much by "doing"!