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Department ofPsychology


Rachel Walker

In the two years since graduating with a psych degree, alum Rachel Walker (‘15) has already had a wide variety of experiences using her psych degree. She is currently working as a researcher at Amazon.

Rachel describes how majoring in psychology at SCU helped prepare her for this career:

Since graduating in 2015, I have worked as a research assistant in the Language and Cognition Lab at Stanford, a User Studies facilitator at Apple, and now as a speech and language researcher at Amazon working on the Alexa team in the Sunnyvale and other international offices. To all you potential psych majors who think the only fields you can go into with a psych degree are academic research and counseling- think again! I think the biggest mistake that psych majors make is not using the resources that are available through the psych department to get some hands on experience in the field BEFORE graduation. Your career path isn't going to find you- you have to find it, and the psych department is great at helping people do that. I was a research assistant to Dr. Whitfield for two years, which gave me the experience I needed to be offered a position at Stanford right after graduation. Dr. Read, in addition to being a great advisor, also helped me to plan my own study while at SCU after I was inspired by her (amazing) psycholinguistics class.  And finally, Dr. Bruchmann was a great mentor both during my time at SCU and the years after graduation.  With their guidance I was able to channel my interest in psycholinguistics into an exciting position working on some of the most cutting edge technology in the Silicon Valley. Their help and support played a huge role in helping me determine what I want to be doing and how to make it happen.