MPS in Applied Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Amanda Hiner, 2021

Amanda Hiner

How did you choose your specific area of study?

I studied Psychology for my undergraduate degree and knew that I wanted to use it to improve the lives of others. After witnessing working conditions that were inappropriate, stressful, and anxiety-inducing, I knew there was a subset of Psychology that could help with these issues: I-O Psychology. Overall, I chose this area of study to help employees have more positive experiences, less maladaptive stress, and increase their well-being.

How did your academic experiences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences impact you?

My experience in the CHSS has provided me with the confidence to work with organizations and employees in an efficient and successful way.

Of which accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud?

I am proud of being the first President of the MPS program's Student Advisory Board. Multiple cohorts were able to come together to present challenges and implement solutions. I believe because of the SAB's past and future initiatives, the program will continue to thrive.

Are there faculty or staff members who made a difference during your Mason career?

The faculty I have worked with have been nothing short of supportive and encouraging. Dr. Stagl was the first professor I had in this program, and he continued to be someone I could turn to for questions or additional resources. He has always provided honest feedback that I know will benefit me for years to come. Dr. Ahmad has given me many opportunities to learn, grow, and obtain leadership skills. Through her advisement and support, I was able to be part of the Student Advisory Board and gain crucial research experience. I am thankful for their encouragement and camaraderie.

What advice would you give to an incoming cohort of graduate students?

I would tell a new cohort of students to ask questions; do not be afraid to ask for help or feedback. The only way you learn from your mistakes or misunderstandings is to find out how you can improve. Your professors will gladly help in any way that they can.

What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?

Long-term, I would like to obtain a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and work with companies to create positive environments for their employees. Further, I would like to continue researching workplace variables that impact employee well-being, because the more knowledge we have about this topic, the better equipped we are to manage it.