PSY 300: Gaining Psychology Experience Internationally
Each year, CityU hosts PSY 300: Research, Reflections and Applications, a course that provides international students an introduction to the clinical and professional subfields that comprise the broad field of psychology in the U.S. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of the range of psychology-related fields and services, diversity of clients and patients, and fundamental job and skill requirements for those working in these fields and services. Students will develop a more comprehensive understanding of how their educational and professional goals fit within this broad field of psychology, both in Mexico and internationally.
During their time in the program, students enrolled in the summer program get to visit several Seattle-based headquarters, such as Amazon and Microsoft. During their visits, they got to see and learn from the company employees what the hiring process consists of, what the company’s benefits are, and overall how these companies incorporate psychology into the organization of their business. Here are a few quotes from the student’s point of view:
“After this, the next week we visited the Amazon Campus, we were to take a small tour through the campus, Ms. Cholewinska explained to us a lot of their work ethics and guidelines. She also walked with us from us to campus, and we got to see the Banana Stand, Amazon Go and the buildings. Something really interesting to me was how Amazon was giving back to their community on a certain level, an example is the Banana Stand, which was extremely shocking to me, since, in Tijuana we do not have companies that do that, or the small park they have for the dogs and spaces for people to sit, eat and enjoy the view.”
“When we went to company visits such as Amazon and Microsoft, at first I thought that they had nothing to do to our careers. Now I noticed that even these companies have a lot to do with psychology. There will always be diversity among all workplaces, which is a factor to consider when thinking about the people who work for them.”
“As an overall opinion on the psychology field and its impact on business, I can really say that something I learned a lot during my [site] visits, is that if people are actually doing what they love, they
will work hard on making their best efforts and jobs they can do and this makes all the difference. When people are passionate about their professions, they tend to exploit all their abilities and work hard. Another very important aspect that I noticed improves productivity is having the bosses or managers of a business, actually listen and care for their employees, not only raise their salary but to actually try to help them, positively communicate with them and give them a good workspace where they can feel comfortable and have all the equipment they need.”
“I learned something new every day I visited a company. I learned how Recovery Café is a place where people seeking support can go to feel at home, how Consejo works for the mental health with mostly Latino individuals, how Amazon and Microsoft cares for the well-being of their employees and the experiences I heard on the discussion panel were inspirational. Psychology is present in all of these places. During our summer at Seattle, we had the opportunity to visit companies and workplaces, such as Recovery Café, Consejo, Amazon, and Microsoft, as well as a discussion panel at City University. I believe everyone studying psychology should have the opportunity to visit companies and observe how psychology takes a role in the workplace.”
“In conclusion, with each visit, and with the experience I acquired in my stay in City University I learn the importance of patience and acceptance in any workplace or situation and also the experience if my stay in Seattle was as important as the places I visited. I also learn about the importance of learning about the differences between cultures and their values, beliefs, and morals. Each person has a unique aspect in which is represented by his values, traditions, religion, customs, and rules. I hope these places I had the opportunity of visiting contribute to my future work experience.”
“This experience allowed me to explore the limits of the discipline I chose. I showed that the scope of it could escape from the clinical field and grow in the labor field. The world or at least my country Mexico is beginning to notice the importance of psychology in the work context. I mention this because a new norm is currently being implemented that requires that there is a department of psychology in all the companies. Denoting so I can see a new stage of psychology in what I have to live.”
Another opportunity that students were able to experience was the CityU Psychology panel. CityU Master of Arts in Counseling program (MAC) Associate Program Director, Joyce Mphande-Finn, and MAC Class of 2014
graduate, Susie Kroll, participated in the panel and students were given the chance to ask questions and hear the panel’s stories:
“The discussion panel with Joyce and Susie was helpful because it taught me that as psychologists we can work in many different fields and that we need to be prepared to achieve our goals and be assertive with our decisions.”
“In the discussion panel, I found helpful the opportunity we had to hear Joyce’s and Susie’s job and life experience since we were not only able to learn from it, but also to share our own and hear some advice from them, to improve.”
“Regarding the discussion panel with Joyce and Susie Kroll, it was very useful for me to know that psychologists can find work in different areas. Also, Susie’s testimony motivated me to never stop trying to reach our goals.
A new opportunity that was added to the summer program this year was the visit to Consejo Counseling and Referral Service. Consejo is based out of Seattle and provides the
Latino community with behavioral health services and the tools necessary to improve the clients quality of life. The students were able to see firsthand how their education could be used in the community:
“For me also the visit to Consejo, was very valuable because having the opportunity to help other people and provide them different kinds of activities in their mother language can improve the way they feel. Besides, it can make them feel like home, that was actually what they made me felt too. When you are in another place, far from your home, culture, and traditions, having a place like this can be comfortable and make you feel safe.”
“The visit to Consejo was also extremely valuable, getting to hear all of the amazing work they do and the amount of love they have for their jobs and community was amazing to see. This helped me think about how much this type of institutes or places we need here in Tijuana.”
“The visit to Consejo, let me feel like home. Besides being an organization that provides support in different situations such as sexual harassment, the idea of having Mexican members provides a sort of refugee for all immigrants living in the city and who are having a bad time.”
CityU’s Summer program provides international students with the opportunity to see how their education could be applied in different fields, while also advancing their degree and getting one step closer to graduation. This program is unique, not only for CityU but for higher education. By providing these opportunities, students were able to get their questions answered by real-world professionals in their field while getting to learn more about the companies they could potentially work for. Now that the summer program is finished for the 2019 year, it’s time to prepare new opportunities for the next program attendees, and we hope you can be a part of it and experience the program yourself.