There are several reasons I decided to pursue my graduate degree at FSU: the quality of the program, the numerous resources available to graduate students, and most importantly the supportive environment evident in the psychology department.
Motivation to pursue a graduate degree
I discovered my passion for psychology during college and knew that I would need to pursue a higher degree at some point in order to continue growing and give my best contributions to the field. After 3 years working for the National Center for PTSD as a post-baccalaureate research coordinator, I felt the time was right to go back to school. Growing up and starting college as a first generation student, I never would have guessed that I would end up pursuing my Ph.D. but now I feel that I'm exactly where I belong.
Importance of research and work
I work with the Anxiety and Behavioral Health Clinic at FSU. My research is focused on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychosocial consequences of trauma. I am interested in better understanding risk factors for PTSD in order to improve prevention and treatment efforts including the development of brief, technological interventions. I believe this work has the potential to move our field forward and provide more accessible (lower-cost, easier access) and effective treatment options.
My goal is to pursue an academic research career. I hope to gain the training necessary to run my own research lab, mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students. I believe this career would give allow for a great balance between research, teaching, and some clinical practice.
Accomplishments during graduate career
Since coming to FSU, I have made progress on many of my academic and professional goals. I've started to develop my own line of research, published several papers in peer reviewed journals, and presented at conferences within my field. Meanwhile, I continue to grow as a mentor through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program https://cre.fsu.edu/undergradresearch/urop as well as my role as Outreach Co-Chair with the Graduate Student Ambassadors.
Advice for anyone considering graduate school
There is a lot to consider when determining whether graduate school (and specifically, which program) is right for you. Take the time to explore all of your options whether it's through school resources, online, or people you know in the field. Think about what is most important to you in life and in your career. For example, is it important for you to live close to home? What type of training will best fit with your career goals? What are the financial costs vs. benefits of obtaining your masters or doctoral degree? etc.