Grad Alumni Spotlight: Hannah Kang

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Hannah Kang is a September 2017 graduate of the Master of Arts in General Psychology program at the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science. She is currently a Research Associate at Mauro Usability Science.

How did you find your current job and what Wasserman services or programs did you use, if any?
My friend/classmate referred me to the position when she decided to pursue a different path.

I attended as many Wasserman workshops, seminars, and job fairs as possible. Even if the event was only tangentially related to my interests, I learned something new every time, and that kept me attending Wasserman’s events as much as my schedule permitted. I also went to drop-in hours and one-on-one appointments when I had a list of specific questions to ask. It helped me define the next step clearly, and I left having each step planned out and feeling super motivated after every visit.

What’s your favorite part of your work?
The work itself is really fun, and being good at what I do also makes me feel good about myself. The projects are interesting and it helps me realize the importance of doing what you love.

Did you always know exactly what you wanted to do?
I originally entered the program with the intention to continue my education in a PhD program and to stay in academia. I changed the direction sharply one semester (Winter 2017) before my planned graduation, and I had little preparation in entering the private sector because all my efforts were directed toward Ph.D. programs. I felt lost, had little confidence in myself, dropped a class, and defer graduation from May 2017 to September 2017. I felt like a failure and had no clue what I was gonna do.

How did your advanced degree impact your job search?
The place I worked for really liked my academic research background. I was told half-jokingly that a social science degree will not get me a job, but I was surprised to find that a Master’s in psychology, especially with a research background, is in a high demand.

What advice do you have for current students looking for jobs in your industry?
I think doing your own job research is really important. Because everything is changing so quickly, and by the time you graduate, there may be a new type of job that your professors or mentors have never heard of.

Also, networking is important. I’m the most awkward, least sociable person, but I think people I talked to cared more about my goals and potentials rather than my social skills. Eventually, you’ll find opportunities from the most unexpected places and people.

What are some common misconceptions about your work?
I don’t know enough to talk about common misconceptions, but one thing that was unexpected is the amount of administrative work I have to do. I think this is something you learn outside of school. Also being good at MS Excel helps.