Jan 3, 2015
4
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
Hello, all! I am just curious in learning what different paths everyone took during time-off, if you took any of course, before grad school!
 
Dec 4, 2014
785
511
Status
Psychologist
I worked/volunteered for Americorps for a year, then spent 2 years getting a terminal masters, then spent 2 years doing clinical work before starting PhD program.
 

acclivity

SDN Bronze Donor
Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Aug 26, 2011
757
367
USA
Status
Psychology Student
Did testing administration for a doc in private practice for ~2 years and then ~2 years of testing admin in a lab.
 

SLB-CO

2+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2015
127
96
Moved abroad to do research with a team from my university. Then came back to the US, got my CAC license, and worked a clinical job while presenting/publishing with the aforementioned research team.
 

MamaPhD

Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2010
2,075
1,945
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Psychologist
Worked part-time as a research coordinator, then full-time in a couple of jobs that were more tangentially related to research.
 

psychrat

licensed psychologist
10+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2009
719
667
NYC area
Status
Psychologist
Worked in psych for three years then entered research MA program then clinical PhD program
 

ClinicalABA

7+ Year Member
Aug 31, 2011
1,076
1,178
New England
Status
Psychologist
Director of a Girls Scout camp, behavioral services coordinator at a brain injury rehab center, and behavioral coordinator at a specialized nursing facility for dual medical/psychiatrically diagnosed individuals.
 

G Costanza

Psychologist - Private Practice
7+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2011
519
559
Status
Psychologist
Rebuilt semi-truck transmissions and then worked inpatient. You learn a lot about what you don't like before figuring out what you do.
 

blamblam

5+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2012
10
0
Status
Psychology Student
I had one gap year during which I worked part-time as a behavior analyst for six months, worked more in a restaurant, and had fun/traveled before starting a counseling psych PhD program.
 
Apr 11, 2012
452
283
Status
Psychologist
Was an administrative assistant for an insurance guy and worked as a staff member at a university while waiting tables as a second job. Granted, I also majored in theater as an undergrad and didn't figure out psychology until about 3 years after I graduated. Thankfully the staff member job gave me free classes and I was able to get into a PhD program after a few years of coursework and volunteer research.
 

PSYDNEUROGUY

2+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2016
63
12
Status
Psychology Student
I worked as a recruiter for a company immediately after I graduated from undergrad. I left that job after 4 months, took a GRE prep class at a university, studied, took the GRE and applied to a master's program in cognitive neuroscience. I attended that program, worked as a researcher and as a psychometrist for a nearby medical school until I graduated. After I graduated, I worked as a corporate recruiter during the summer until I moved from Texas to Florida so that my husband could attend pharmacy school. I worked in a private neurology practice here in South Florida as a psychometrist...the money was sporadic, so I also worked in a customer service job for a call center until I applied for a Psy.D. program. I start that program in two days.
 

GoPokes

Psychologist
7+ Year Member
Sep 19, 2011
207
104
Status
Psychologist
Nothing! Went straight to one from the other. But sometimes I look back and think about how much I could've matured through waiting a little longer (or could have just enjoyed my 20s a little).
 

WisNeuro

Board Certified Neuropsychologist
10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2009
10,186
8,878
Somewhere
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Psychologist
The full-time job was flexible, I could work different shifts, either day or night, as well as weekends. And, the lab manager job wasn't a strict time outside of lab meetings, so I could schedule some things around that schedule as well.
 
Jan 25, 2018
3
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
For those that has less "traditional" paths into grad school, like @AcronymAllergy @smalltownpsych @calimich @EmotRegulation , how did you become a competitive applicant for doctoral programs (without first getting a MS)?

I ask because I am a few years out of graduating with a BS in biology (I was pre-med). I worked in a gastrointestinal research lab for 1.5 years and 2nd authored a paper. Once deciding against med school, I went into health consulting to buy some time and now I've landed at wanting to pursue clinical psychology. How can I make myself competitive without an undergrad degree in psych and without specifically psych research? Are there alternatives to going back to working in a lab (but this time a psych lab)? Financially, I'd prefer not to do that. Let me know if you have any creative ideas!! Thank you in advance.
 

AcronymAllergy

Neuropsychologist
Moderator
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7+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2010
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Honestly, I don't know if there are many alternatives to trying to get at least some psychology research experience, even if it's just volunteering while you still work. Alternatively, as you mentioned, there's the option of pursuing a research-oriented master's degree.

The psych degree would be less of a barring factor if you've completed the pre-requisite coursework. If you haven't, there may be no other option than either another bachelor's or a master's.

I should mention that my path was only quasi-non-traditional. It'd probably be more accurately described as protracted and circumlocutious. My undergrad was in psych and I had a couple years' worth of psych research experience across two labs, but that whole process took a little while. And I then worked for a year full-time afterward (in a non-related field) while re-applying.