Laura Novotny

Laura Novotny - 2015 Graduate

 

Academic Advisor I, Colleges of Letters, Arts and Sciences (Undecided and General Studies students) – University of Arizona

 

B.A. in Psychology, Minor in Communication Studies, and Business Certificate - Creighton University, May 2015

M.A. in College Student Personnel – Bowling Green State University

The Creighton Psychology department prepared me for both my professional life as well as my continued educational experiences. In terms of my education, the psychology major prepared me to understand the research process, comprehend research articles at the graduate level, and critically evaluate the data, thoughts, and opinions of various topics discussed during my program.  This was extremely beneficial as higher education focuses on theories—such as those found in student development theory and career theory—that help to understand the role of higher education on students’ lives. I absolutely had an advantage over other cohort members without this background. And, thanks to the emphasis on statistics and research, I was able to test out of two required courses based on my knowledge of those area. Not only did it save me money, but it allowed me to pursue other involvements during my two years in the program.

 

In terms of my professional life, having a background of understanding people has been immensely beneficial.  One of the most crucial psychology fields for my career has been Industrial and Organizational psychology. Understanding how both team and individuals function in a work setting has truly helped working with the both students I supervise and career peers. While developing curriculum for courses I teach, I am able to design lessons that students not only allow them to gain the necessary knowledge, but enjoy the process of learning  - this is due to both having a knowledge of different types of people and their learning styles, as well as being exposed to different types of active learning in the classroom from the amazing psychology faculty (with a special shoutout to Dr. Huss and his extremely engaging teaching style). When advising students, I can think of two areas in which I draw from psychology. First, studying people and the effect of their environment helped me to develop empathy and an understanding that people have truly unique lives. Though I may not share the same struggles these students face, I am able to understand their perspective and adapt my advising style to their needs. Lastly, studying psychology taught me that a key to being successful in educational pursuits is to study what you love. As a biology major during my first year at Creighton, waking up and attending courses was a struggle. Though I’d always loved learning, I simply could not bring myself to care about what I was studying. When I switched in to psychology, my love for education was reignited and I looked forward to the time spent both inside and outside the classroom.

 

Overall, my Creighton Psychology degree laid a foundation for my education and my career. I feel confident that I would not have been as successful in my master’s program if not for the rigorous and thoughtful requirements of the major. I have no doubt this will continue as I develop in my field and pursue my Ph.D…when the time comes!