mspp STudent profile
After entering the military, I came back and went back to school at Rutgers University where I took a history class on Vietnam War Films. I was watching a film called Hamburger Hill, and there was a scene where the soldiers were talking, and all of a sudden it just clicked with me, I was just fascinated by what they were talking about, and why. And all of a sudden, I just realized, I wanted to understand people in general. That’s probably why I like archeology, philosophy, English, things I studied human communication, and that psychology would really capture all that. Once I was activated and went over to Iraq and came back, that’s when I really knew I wanted to pursue psychology. The military was key in making my decision to pursue psychology as an actual career versus just studying it academically.
Because of being in the military, I have had a great chance over the years to meet different people from different parts of the country. It has given me exposure not necessary to cultures per se, but how people form groups, and how they move in and out of them. It has given me the experience of meeting people that I normally wouldn’t have met. So, I had never been to the deep South, and I worked with a lot of people from Alabama for example, who are very different from the types of people I was familiar with in New Jersey and New York. I think that helped me to open my mind and realize that people are people first and that because we have something in common through the military, we can get past whatever stereotypes we have about one another. I think that has really helped me to be open-minded working in psychology, because you are bound to come across clients that are very different from you. You have no idea what’s going on. And even though you get frustrated, you realize that you can find a common bond and help them learn to trust you because you are open to hearing about their view of the world.