Psychology students have a multitude of opportunities to get involved in the field of psychology outside of the traditional classroom. Internships, research, learning communities, student organizations and study abroad are just a few examples of the opportunities you will have to build career-related experience, as well as lasting relationships.
As you explore the various opportunities for getting involved below, remember the following advice:
- Your experiences should relate to your future career goals as much as possible.
- Always strive to do the best job possible, even if you are not getting paid. These experiences can lead to letters of recommendation and potentially to a future job offer.
- Network. Try to meet as many people in the organization as you can. Learn about what other people do. Save contact information of people you meet. Send a thank you letter when your position is over and stay in contact with your supervisor once you leave. When the time comes to find a full-time job, you will have connections.
- Do not burn bridges. Even if you realize this field is not for you, finish your commitment and do a good job.
Psyched Up! Learning Community
Are you an incoming freshman fascinated by why people behave the way they do? Are you intrigued by the human mind? Do you desire to understand others' motivations and actions? Do you want to help others understand themselves better? If you answered 'Yes!' to any of these questions then the Psyched Up! Learning Community is for you! Through this experience, you will learn more about Psychology as you live with other students interested in Psychology, take classes together, and have access to unique opportunities to explore Psychology on campus and beyond.Learn more
Here in the Psychology Department, we take great pride the quantity and quality of our research and scholarly activity at all levels. Our faculty publish numerous papers each year in leading scholarly journals, many of which have graduate and undergraduate students as co-authors. As an undergraduate psychology major at UNL, you have the opportunity to be actively engaged in research. Some of the benefits include:
- Gain skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, use of technology, and communication just to name a few.
- Our students present dozens of papers and posters annually at scientific conferences, and we lead UNL’s College of Arts and Sciences in honors theses submitted.
- Get to know and work with a faculty member who might one day be willing to serve as a reference for graduate school or a job!
How do you gain this experience? Simple! Follow these easy steps.
- Check out our Undergraduate Research website for more detailed information about the process
- Search through the websites of department research labs to find labs in which you are interested.
- See if the faculty member directing the lab has any undergraduate assistant research opportunities. Typically, these are volunteer experiences, but they can be paid.
- Search for funding opportunities for undergraduate research through UCARE or the McNair Scholars program.
- Determine if you can or should sign up for course credit by talking to your faculty member and/or Psychology advisor.
Are you interested in learning more about Psychology through having an active role in research? Do you like getting paid? Consider being involved in UCARE!
Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences Program (UCARE) pairs undergraduate students with faculty mentors, enriching the educational experiences of the student and at the same time providing a tangible benefit to the research program of UNL faculty. Students involved in UCARE are engaged in a unique “campus job” and conduct research or creative activities with the help of a faculty member.
Each year UNL hosts an undergraduate research conference where students present their current research. This is a great opportunity for students to meet faculty and looks great on your resume. Along with the UNL conference, many students take their research to conferences around the state and even around the nation.
Being a teaching assistant is another great way to build transferrable skills. Even if you do not want to be a teacher, being a TA helps you gain experience in communication, teamwork, management, public speaking and leadership. It is also a great way to get to know a faculty member for a future reference for graduate school or a job.
To be a TA, you must do very well in the course and show exceptional mastery of the course material. Most of the time, the instructor approaches a student and asks him/her to be a TA. Some TA positions are also advertised in the Monday Message. If you are interested in being a TA and have not been asked, go ahead and express your interest to the instructor.
UNL offers more than 500 student organizations, many of which may relate directly to your career goals. Even if you cannot find one that matches your desired career, you can still gain transferrable skills that are valued in your field. Most organizations provide opportunities for leadership, teamwork, communication, fundraising and event planning, all of which are highly valued by employers. Employers prefer to see that you were active and took on leadership roles rather than simply being a member of the organization.
Find an organization that interests you at the Office of Student Involvement.
Here are a couple of psychology student organizations that you may want to join:
Undergraduate Psychology Organization (UPO)
UPO is a student organization sponsored by students for students in psychology, which interest in psychology outside of the traditional classroom setting, especially professional and career development. It is open to all who are interested. Its members meet monthly with those of Psi Chi.Learn more
Psi Chi is a national honorary society for graduate and undergraduate psychology students, founded to recognize, encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in scholarship of its members and advance the science of psychology.Learn more
In addition to on-campus student organizations, you may wish to explore joining a professional organization, many of which offer student memberships. Below are just two of your many options. Additionally, UNL Psychology events sponsored by the department allow you to connect with professionals from across the nation: