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Impressions From UMBC@SIOP


Current students Cecilia Gaultney and Rachel Bader, with Matisha Montgomery (ICE)RACHEL BADER
I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend the Master’s Student Consortium at this year’s SIOP annual conference in National Harbor, MD. This was my first time attending the SIOP conference in any capacity, and the consortium was a great way to kick-start this experience with a smaller dose of networking and educational sessions before the main conference. 

Perhaps one of the most valuable pieces of the consortium for me was the opportunity to connect with master’s students from schools all over the country. There were a couple of facilitated networking activities (e.g., networking bingo) to help break the ice at the beginning of the day, as well as some free time to just sit and chat about our experiences in school, I-O, and beyond. Given the nature of participating in the consortium, not only was I able to connect with other students who are in similar situations as myself, I was fortunate to be surrounded by a particularly motivated and bright group of people. We have since created a LinkedIn group to stay in touch (thanks Cecilia Gaultney for taking the initiative on this!). Although the UMBC I-O community is fruitful, it was (and will continue to be) valuable to expand my professional network beyond UMBC as well.

Cecilia Gaultney (UMBC) and Lee Duong, Florida Institute of Technology.“one of the most valuable pieces of the consortium for me was the opportunity to connect with Master’s students from schools all over the country”

In terms of the educational content, we heard from some wonderful speakers about some different areas and experiences in I-O. Matisha Montgomery from ICE spoke to us about applying for jobs in the federal government. Brandon Riggs from Qualtrics discussed the experience-driven economy and the I-O’s role in shaping employee experience. Amber Burkhart from Hogan shared an overview of the interpretation of results from a Hogan assessment and how we can leverage our own results in our careers. Adam Vassar from The Predictive Index shared his vast experience through his non-traditional trajectory in I-O. He also stressed the importance of being intentional with one’s personal brand through one’s career. 
The consortium and the main conference were overall valuable experiences, I look forward to becoming a regular attendee of SIOP! 


My reflection on the master's consortium is that I do feel it was valuable, but my takeaways were less specific than the learning I accomplished by attending the sessions I picked out for myself at SIOP. I did really value the opportunity to get to know other master’s I-O students, and we've created a LinkedIn group to stay in touch. I know that other students From left to right: Cecilia Gaultney, UMBC; Braden Sharer, University at Albany, SUNY; Paige Foss, University at Albany, SUNY; Rachel Bader, UMBCwho attended that consortium represent highly committed, engaged, and talented individuals who will be excellent sources for learning and professional networking. I also connected with a student who had attended Drexel University with me in the undergraduate psychology program - it was great to reconnect with him and see that my former psychology program was being represented at SIOP. Another positive of the consortium was that is let us be a part of a very intimate audience with a few incredible presenters. I am now connected with these individuals on LinkedIn and am even getting support from Brandon Riggs on my data analysis for Capstone. This experience connected me with people who will support my career in ways I can't yet measure. Rachel and I also made a personal connection with one of the speakers, Matisha Montgomery, who then was very welcoming and friendly as we saw her around the conference, which made me feel very included and like I belonged, something that is so important. I really appreciate each and every speaker who took the time to build excellent, informative presentations.

All in all, I think this experience was excellent and I'd highly recommend it. I'd say that it may be BEST suited for first year SIOP attendees students because it provides a really wonderful introduction to SIOP, but as a person who was unable to go the first year, I am still very grateful to have had the experience. 

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