Jessica Butkovic

 

1. What are you doing now?

 

I am currently employed by UT Martin as the Program Coordinator for the Institute for Civic Engagement. I coordinate programs for the campus and community in civic engagement, service learning, leadership and community service. I work with students, faculty, staff, and community agencies. Our shared vision is to encourage the development of compassionate, active, knowledgeable citizens. Although I have enjoyed working in the field of higher education, my future career goals are to attend graduate school likely in the area of social psychology.

 

2. How did UTM Psychology Program help you achieve what you have become?

 

Because my job involves getting students involved outside of normal class work, the experience as a busy psychology student gave me the insight to understand why students are not always motivated to take on extra projects. The classes that psychology majors find most difficult are the ones that developed my critical thinking and problem solving skills the most, which are the skills I use the most frequently in my job today. These are the skills I need to create new ways to show students the benefits of becoming involved on campus and in the community. Being an honors student helped instill my curiosity in subject matters outside my own discipline, which has given me a diversity of interests to relate to and pursue.

My psychology professors taught me that students need structure and firm guidance, but sensitivity and open communication have significant roles. My two years of research gave me an excellent idea of what it was like to work with faculty, which I do more now than I ever thought I would. Overall the UTM Psychology program gave me a great general education to prepare me for any job, gave me great organizational and interpersonal skills, and prepared me to enter the workforce and pursue a graduate degree when ready.

 

3. What advice would you give to students who are thinking about becoming UTM psychology majors?

 

If you are truly interested in the discipline of psychology, let nothing hold you back. Being a psychology major can be challenging, but your interest in the subject will motivate you and you will develop skills that will be beneficial beyond your expectations.

 

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