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The Grad Perspective

The Grad Perspective 

This week I asked two inspiring women in the  Industrial-Organizational Psychology Graduate program at Texas A&M about their experiences in the program and what they have learned about Graduate School in General. Their responses are below.


Pamela Gonzalez Vargas

What encouraged you to pursue further schooling and ultimately apply for graduate school? 

Being a Latina woman and a first-generation student, I felt the pressure of needing to represent and help my culture and my people. I applied to graduate school to help others that look like me and talk like me. I want to be able to smooth the path for them to the many opportunities that I have been given and that they deserve as well. Particularly, I want them to be represented by someone that also understands them. With my degree, I want to be able to make the workplace more diverse and inclusive and give everyone the opportunities they deserve.


What was one thing about graduate school that you didn’t know about or expect? Did you feel that you were well versed in your knowledge of the application process for graduate school? 

The amount of required reading was something that I knew about graduate school but did not expect to be so extensive. I always thought that people were exaggerating but they are definitely not. The majority of my time I spend reading articles or researching a topic to understand it better, but the positive for it is that you never stop learning.


As for the application process for graduate school, my friend helped me during that time. Personally, I was never taught about the application process for graduate school since no one in my household had that experience. I was lucky to have been helped by that friend that guided me through the process at the same time she was doing her applications as well. I asked a few friends that were also applying for graduate school for feedback on my whole application package. I was very unprepared but had great friends that guided me through the process.



What are your career or educational goals after you finish graduate school?

After I finish my master’s degree my goal is to find a job and work for a few years. I want to build experience to be able to share those with others. At the same time, I would like to mentor Latino students on their careers, help them with graduate school applications as well as share my experience with them. Ultimately my goal is to pursue a doctorate degree to be able to teach and become a professor.


D’yvonier Larcheveaux

What was the transition like from your undergraduate degree to a graduate degree? Do

many of you work in addition to taking classes and conducting research?

I am a Diversity Excellence Fellow (administration recently updated this title). Part of my

responsibilities as a fellow is to offer assistance to the program, so essentially I am a

graduate assistant reporting to my program director. Within this position, I do various

tasks, mainly locating internships for the incoming cohorts, for ten hours a week. The

biggest thing that made the transition from undergrad to graduate difficult was the fact

that we were in the midst of a pandemic. I had recently lost my grandmother in April and

found that it would be financially beneficial to remain in my hometown the first semester.

In turn, this impacted my learning because virtually it was hard for me to grasp the

material. Working in undergrad wasn’t a burden for me because I was able to juggle two

work-study type jobs. In my current situation, I cannot say the same. I feel like my life is

dedicated to my graduate program, especially in my final semester where it is required

of us to pass our comprehensive exam.


What are your career or educational goals after you finish graduate school?

Thankfully due to the required summer internship mandated by my program, I was able

to receive a job offer that I will be pursuing this upcoming March. I will be working as an

Advisory Associate at KPMG. I am very grateful for the offer and love that I can now put

school behind me. I do not have an interest in going the doctoral route, possibly a

second masters in the far future. As for now, graduate school will suffice.


How many courses do you have to take, and how are they different from your

undergraduate school?

Each semester we are required to take three core classes and one professional

development class for a total of ten credit hours. This is highly different from undergrad

because they are specifically tailored to my field of interest, Industrial-Organizational

Psychology. I also like how the program is structured for us to professionally succeed

because each semester we have a professional development class and in the summer

it is a requirement for us to complete an internship. Undergrad was more of an

exploratory time in the field of Psychology, in which I obtained my Bachelors. On the

other hand, the graduate program is still exploratory because there are many subfields

in IO, but it helped me to narrow my path even further in this broad field.