The industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology master’s program is celebrating five years at Meredith College.
Since its launch, the number of applications per year has increased from 16 to 30-45. In total, 50 students have completed the degree. The program has a remarkable employment rate with 97% of graduates securing I-O-related jobs within six months of graduation. Many graduates have gone on to pursue careers at prestigious organizations such as Amazon, Butterball, Cisco, UNC-Chapel Hill, WakeMed, and more.
“The I-O psychology program provided me with skills that have carried into my job today. I learned the basics of data analysis and how to take a holistic approach to inform company-wide decisions,” said Morgan Hendrix, ’22 (M.A. in Psychology).
Through the years, the program has expanded to provide students with more experiential and networking opportunities, including a study abroad class in Italy, a student organization, and a mentorship program. The latter two initiatives were spearheaded by Assistant Professor Jenna McChesney, who has been integral in fostering a collaborative culture and creating research opportunities for students. Additionally, faculty members are continually revising the curriculum to stay up-to-date on industry trends.
Program Director Joe Mazzola said he is most proud of the collaborative community the program has cultivated. “With our cohort model, students take the majority of their classes together. They enjoy working together and caring about their fellow students,” said Mazzola. “They understand that helping everyone learn and find work opportunities helps the program grow and ultimately makes their degree and career prospects better.”
This supportive community extends past graduation as well. The I-O faculty members maintain contact with alumni and provide guidance beyond their time at Meredith. Alumni have graciously given back to the program by sharing internship and job opportunities and presenting to current classes about their experiences.
“Even now as an alumna, the Meredith I-O faculty are always there to support me at every step of my career,” said Meredith O’Dekirk, ’22 (M.A. in Psychology).
Looking Ahead to the Next Five Years
As for the future of the program, Mazzola and Doreen Donnelly, program manager and admissions counselor, hope to increase the number of yearly applications, boost brand recognition, and grow the program’s alumni and community network.
“Meredith has been the perfect environment to grow a strong academic program with an additional focus on community building. The administration has been very supportive of us throughout this journey and more people than I can count have contributed to getting the program to where it is today,” said Mazzola. “All of our students and graduates are Meredith Strong.”