I've decided. I'm applying. What do I do next?
What you learn in the classroom matters. What happens in the real world also matters. And that's why all of our students get extensive hands-on experience working with and helping real organizational clients in the real world as part of real applied class or lab projects. In fact, several of our students recently won the 1st Annual Personnel Testing Council - Metropolitan Washington (PTCMW) Graduate Student Consulting Competition – a testament to their applied skills.
Recent organizational clients with whom our students have worked include:
- City of Virginia Beach
- The Therapy Network
- Eastern Virginia Medical School
- CEB Talent Management
- ACCESS Aids Care
- Linden Public Schools
- Chicago Pipefitters Local 597
I have participated in two different applied consulting projects as part of courses during my time at ODU. First, as a part of Human Resource Development, I led a team in evaluating a leadership training program for construction leaders from two different organizations. The results of this evaluation were presented to organizational leaders and presented at a professional conference. Second, I took part in a needs assessment for a local, multisite organization. We collected qualitative and quantitative needs assessment data and presented results to the organization's board, highlighting areas that needed improvement in their company, as emphasized by their own employees. These projects were extremely beneficial because they gave me insight about practical constraints that researchers face when working in the applied sector and helped me develop communication skills for presenting I/O results to non-I/O stakeholders, which is perhaps one of the most important skills for practitioners in our field.
Almost every ODU student completes a summer internship, whether targeting an academic or applied career. This experience gives you a very personal window into the realities of working within an organization to improve both the lives of employees and organizational successes. Internal versus external consulting, private versus governement work - with so many choices, how else could you know that your chosen career path is the right one for you? Recent internships have included numerous consulting firms, the Department of Defense, and private organizations.
Throughout my time at ODU, I learned about applying to jobs and interning from alumni and other students. I applied for several positions; my skills and experience were very well-received, and I accepted an offer from a consulting company in which a current student and several alumni have worked. While interning, I used skills gained at ODU in nearly every task I was assigned. The benefits were numerous; I worked on a variety of projects with several organizations, created professional relationships, experienced every phase of consulting projects, interacted with clients, and continue to work there well after my internship officially ended.
I entered graduate school unsure of whether I wanted to pursue an academic or applied career. At ODU, I’ve been provided with unique professional development opportunities related to both career paths; including working as a researcher on an NSF-funded grant, presenting my research at national conferences, co-authoring book chapters and peer-reviewed manuscripts, working on consulting projects, and completing an internship. These opportunities have made me a competitive candidate for careers in academia and industry.
- Heather Bolen, ‘14, IBM
- Kristina Bauer, ‘13, Illinois Institute of Technology
- Valerie Morganson, ‘11, University of West Florida
- Kurt Oborn, ‘10, Target
- Jenny Kuang, ‘07, Pacific Gas & Electric Company
- Amy Fitzgibbons, ‘03, State Street
- Catherine Mergen, ‘98, AbbVie
- Brian Ruggeberg, ‘96, Aon Hewitt
- Diane Catanzaro, ‘92, Christopher Newport University
- Seth Zimmer, ‘90, AT&T
- John Mathieu, ‘85, University of Connecticut
- Eduardo Salas, ‘84, Rice University (former SIOP president)