What to do with a Laurier psychology degree?

There’s a point in every student’s career when they need to sit down and really think about what they’re doing in university.

Students may ask why they are here at university, what they are supposed to do after graduation and whether that degree will really help them find a position in their field. With these questions in mind, Wilfrid Laurier University has started special lectures designed to assist in addressing student concerns. The Oct. 15 lecture “Psychology Degree: Now What?” was the first in the “Life After Laurier Science” series.

Guest speaker Lise Côté, senior director of market planning and consumer service marketing at Rogers communications offered her time and experience to students considering career options in the field of psychology. “I think having a psych degree is great,” she insisted, “It absolutely applies to different opportunities.”

Côté has spent twenty years in marketing and relationship management roles with Sprint, Rogers, American Express, Altimira and CIBC, and said that each offered different challenges and learning experiences. While she was in attendance to speak about psychology specifically, she was quite adamant about students accepting volunteer positions.

“It gives you practical experience if you can’t find a paid position and Laurier has a great reputation for volunteerism in the community,” she said.
Matt Vinski, a third year environmental studies major, decided to give psychology a shot, but realized it may not have been a proper fit for him. “The class was interesting,” he said, “but I’m not sure it would be overly helpful in my field.”

When asked about his plans for after graduation, Vinski expressed uncertainty. “I honestly don’t know what I’ll do,” he said. “Getting your BA is pretty standard nowadays and employers don’t necessarily consider it to stand out as much as it might have in the past, but a combination of volunteering and internship related to your career would obviously be beneficial,” he added. “You’re just going to need that degree either way.”

“I think you really need to know how to sell a psychology degree,” Côté explained. “For me, it was about understanding marketing and the consumer, their motivations or understanding why it’s important to deliver a certain message; that’s how I sold it.”