Amanda Parola '18 uses her research skills in an I/O setting
Amanda Parola graduated in 2018 from SCU with a degree in psychology and is now working as a Learning and Development Specialist at an Industrial Real Estate Company. She writes: “Switching my major to Psychology and getting involved with the department was the best decision I could have made for my career. I was a Research Assistant, Psychology Club President for a quarter and in Psi Chi.
During my last quarter at SCU, I was recruited to be a Learning and Development Specialist at an Industrial Real Estate Company. My role there has to do with designing, maintaining, and delivering innovative and interactive learning programs which address employee development needs. For example, a team in Valuations will come to me and say "hey, our team needs a training program on XYZ skill." I then do a needs analysis: assessing the need and where they are currently in the skill and what needs to happen to get them to the end goal. I also design and conduct quarterly analyses of enterprise learning in order to improve upon and evaluate the impact of learning programs.
Looking at my time as a research assistant in Dr. Koopmann-Holm's Lab (CIEL), one of the many things I learned was the skill of looking at research that is out there with a critical eye to make informed decisions. Part of my job in Learning and Development is to upskill our employees on "business critical skills" in order to combat future learning gaps. In order to create these trainings, I look at the latest studies to help inform my decisions on how to best train employees on topics such as identifying our own implicit biases or easing the fear of public speaking.
In the CIEL lab, I was also fortunate enough to help create a study using the online survey platform Qualtrics. In my company, we are moving towards having more of a data mindset and I was ahead of the curve having this extensive research knowledge. I now, as a side part of my job, teach our executive team how to use Qualtrics and how to get data to make more informed decisions.
My advice to current psych majors is to join a lab or get involved in Psi Chi or in Psychology Club. You are able to connect closer with professors (for me it was Dr. Whitfield and Dr. Koopmann-Holm) who are truly invested in your future success. Also, you can make friends who are passionate about Psychology.”