From Technology to Psychology: A Transformative Career Journey

Have you wondered what you were truly meant to do?  Career transitions can be times of reflection and self-discovery.  After a successful, eleven-year career in Information Technology, a life event necessitated Emma to make a career change.  In speaking to counseling and psychology professionals, she discovered her passion for helping individuals cultivate mental, physical, and spiritual health.  This insight led to her completing an M.S. in Psychology and pursuing her Ph.D. in Psychology – Health Psychology at Walden.

Re-defining her personal mission led to unexpected experiences that helped Emma “re-brand” herself for her future field.  These highlights included:

  • Emma walked into a local counseling center to inquire about employment opportunities.  The front desk person said they were not hiring at the time; however she could pick up a brochure.  Emma read the brochure and registered for a class that piqued her interest.  Through this class, she learned of a residency program the counseling center was offering and decided to apply.  She scheduled an appointment with Career Services to improve her resume and create a career portfolio.  Her portfolio highlighted her academic projects and papers, coursework, knowledge areas, skills, and the quality of her Walden program. She applied, was selected for the residency, and is currently accumulating hours toward Marriage and Family Therapy licensure in her state.
  • A therapist at the counseling center recommended a class at a local university on cognitive behavior, compassion, and meditation.  Emma attended the class and connected to a community of individuals interested in Tibetan medicine, health, and spirituality.  Emma incorporated her new interest into her dissertation topic.
  • Emma read an announcement from a Walden faculty member who was seeking student researchers.  She submitted an application and was selected to assist with a major study that was published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology.  She also contributed to creating a poster session that was presented at a Walden Academic Residency.
  • Emma discovered a yoga training program and got certified as a yoga instructor.  Her yoga teacher mentioned a program that combines yoga and therapy with a need for her skills. 

Emma’s story reminds us of the transformative power of gaining new experiences and cultivating connections.  She advises other Walden students to enjoy the journey and say ‘yes’ to new opportunities that align with their personal mission. 

Written by Career Services Advisor, Dina Bergren