As I was painting a neighbor’s house recently and was talking to another about some painting she needed to have done- and thinking about my upcoming graduation, I was reminded of an article I was interviewed for in 2010. The article was entitled, “Will Work for Education“, published in the November 2010 issue of gradPsych. This magazine is for psychology graduate students and is published by the American Psychological Association (APA).
The article, of course, was about the various ways that graduate students have worked to fund their educations- often through various part-time jobs. During my career as a grad student I worked full-time in the field, but was typically doing some kind of part-time work as well, including waiting tables, painting houses, or doing other handyman work. A few other students shared similar stories.
Graduate school is expensive, and the nature of most programs makes it difficult for students to work full-time jobs. And after graduate school, it comes time to pay student loans, to pay off other debts related to furthering one’s education, and hopefully working toward a more stable future. gradPsych is a great magazine and there have been many wonderful articles that have been helpful to me as a grad student.
For the past three years I have been in governance with the graduate student division of APA, the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS). For two years I served as a member of the Convention Committee, and I am currently in the middle of a two-year term as Convention Committee Chair. This has been a tremendous experience in my professional development, but I have also really enjoyed the opportunity to advocate for other students. Being a student can be difficult and it’s good to know that there are others in your corner. In my time in APAGS we have worked on a number of important issues that impact students such as the internship crisis, a significant imbalance between available internship slots and number of applicants which has continued to get worse year after year. As a committee chair I have been able to work as part of the overall APAGS Committee, as well as with governance members of APA. I look forward to another year on the Committee, and to future involvement in APA and other professional organizations.
As for my career, I have now graduated and am back to a somewhat normal routine after completing my internship. Though I hope my days of painting houses and waiting tables are over, I’m sure I have many years of hard work ahead. In addition to doing a full-time postdoctoral fellowship, I am working part-time at a private practice, which I plan to turn into a full-time position when I get licensed.