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Member Spotlight: Steven Zhou

Steven Zhou

PhD Candidate in I-O Psychology at George Mason University;
Institutional Survey & Measurement Methods Lead at Purdue University

How long have you been a SIOP member?
I was a student member for 3 years while completing my bachelor’s in I-O, then took a couple years off to work in HR and data analytics, then restarted my membership 4 years ago when I started my PhD in I-O.

What roles have you had within SIOP?
I’ve volunteered on the Membership Analytics Subcommittee since 2021 and have been co-chair since 2022.

Interest area(s)
Leadership, psychometrics, careers, and science communication

What sparked your interest in I-O psychology?
I realized late in high school that I liked organizing things and coordinating people on teams to achieve more together than they could individually. I started college as a psychology major, switched to business, then landed in I-O psychology, and have continued in the field since then!

What role do you see I-O psychology playing in the future of work?
At its best, our field includes experts from a wide range of disciplines. This means that I-O psychologists can bring to the world of work a broad set of skills (e.g., people management and data science, macro- and micro-organizational behavior), while other fields might specialize more in a specific area. I would love to see I-O grow and expand to embrace the interdisciplinary nature of our field and leverage that to positively impact the world of work.

Which of the Top 10 Work Trends for 2023 do you most strongly relate to and how can I-O psychology practitioners, educators, and students impact this trend?
Personally, I am excited to see what I-O psychologists have to contribute to Trend #3: managing the transition into the postpandemic world. Of course, all the trends are important, but I think I-O faces a huge opportunity to be a major positive influence in providing science-based recommendations to modern and immediate challenges that organizations and employees face. This creates opportunities for our research to have immediate benefits to the everyday person.

What advice would you give to students or early practitioners?
Get to know others in the field. There’s so many experts within SIOP to learn from. I know it can be intimidating – it was for me as well! – but I’ve received nothing but open and friendly conversations, and willingness to build connections.

What is one of your favorite SIOP Annual Conference memories/highlights?
My first in-person conference was in 2022, and it was instrumental in building my professional network and meeting people working on fascinating projects! Several of my current projects, SIOP presentations, and even publications started because of connections I formed at SIOP.

Please share one non-I-O-related bit of information about yourself.
My “if-I-didn’t-pursue-I-O” path would have been video production. At least, that’s what I thought I wanted to do early in high school when I started learning all the film editing software that was hot off the press at the time!

Is there anything you would like to add?
I-Os have a lot of career paths that you might not anticipate! Although I hope to pursue an academic path, I am currently working in institutional data analytics at Purdue. This is one of those paths that I don’t see many I-Os in, but it’s very related to our skill set and training. I have friends who pursue user experience design, entrepreneurship, and other career paths. If you’re a student like me about to graduate soon, be open to your potentially wide range of opportunities!

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