Panel discusses how to find success in field of psychology

Melissa Mellon talks about her career in psychology during the Psychology Career Day held at Saddleback College. (Joseph Espiritu)

Katherine Sweet

Dozens of students turned out last Friday to attend a Psychology Career Panel held here on campus. Hosted by the Psychology Club and Psi Beta National Honor Society, the Panel featured three speakers with backgrounds in psychology. The panelists included Melissa Mellon, the Director of CSP Families First Outpatient Program and CSP Laguna Beach Youth Shelter; Kimberly Mounsey, a Saddleback psychology instructor; and Deborah Ryan, a licensed clinical social worker.

The three speakers shared their views on careers in psychology, their own personal experiences, educational requirements, and volunteer and internship options. The panel was followed by a question and answer session for students to express their concerns and interests.

One of the panel’s organizers, Naomi Braun, psychology, 30, explained the point of the panel was to “inform students of different careers in psychology and ways to gain volunteer and internship experience to fulfill their goals.”

The presentation was planned entirely by students. According to club member Matt Nesselroad, psychology, 20, the panel was organized because the club wanted to “think of stuff to do to promote psychology.”

All of the panelists had something unique to bring to the table,” said Nseelroad. “It’s neat to see such a wide variety.”

Many students turned out in hopes of gaining perspective on the field. Kinga Rutynowski, industrial psychology and cultural anthropology, claims she attended because she wanted “to get more insight from people who have done it…and see the right way and wrong way to approach things.”

For Sean Lynn, psychology, 18, the panel was a chance to “learn from the pros.” He found the panel interesting and informative, and even gained new direction. “I am now considering a master’s in psychology,” he said.

The panelists were likewise enthusiastic about the chance to attend. Panelist Mounsey said she agreed to speak at the panel in hopes of explaining “things I would have wanted to know if in the students’ position…what I wished I would have known when I was in their shoes.”

Overall, organizer Braun was very pleased with the results of the panel. “The panelists were excellent, the questions informative, and it was a great experience for all involved,” she enthused.

For those interested in psychology, the Psychology Club and Psi Beta meet at 3:00 pm on every other Wednesday in BGS 327. Their next meeting is Feb. 4.

Speakers Kimberly Mounsey, Melissa Mellon, and Deborah Ryan educate Saddleback College psychology majors about their fields. (Joseph Espiritu)

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