Learning from the World

April 11, 2017

You graduated with a BA from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts—how did it prepare you for your initial move into “real world”?

My experience as an undergraduate at the U includes my coursework, but also my experience as a research assistant in the school of psychology and child psychology, my honours research and coursework, participation in student organizations, volunteer work, as well as my paid employment.  It was the combination of all of those components that prepared me for the “real world.”  I took advantage of the opportunities that being on campus and in the Twin Cities community; I believe all of those intertwined to enhance my preparation for later work and study.

What is the most memorable experience you have with the U?

It’s hard to choose a single experience—living in honors housing (still good friends with those on my floor), being a peer academic advisor, doing an independent undergraduate research project in Nikki Crick’s lab, and being co-coordinator of a student organization

Did you study abroad during or after graduation from the U?

Studying abroad was important to me; I pursued my graduate degrees abroad. I went to London to do my masters degree in Applied Music Psychology at Roehampton University. I then started working on my PhD in Edinburgh, Scotland but finished it in Perth, Western Australia. Moving abroad has been one of the best decisions I have made.

What is most helpful skill you acquired early in your career?

While working in the honours CLA academic advising community, I worked with and interacted with a lot of students and staff members. I made presentations, served on committees, advised students, etc.—through these activities, I learned about working collaboratively in a successful environment.

For my career as a researcher, writing is an extremely important skill. I believe that the nature of my studies at the U helped grow my writing skills. As an undergraduate, I wrote research reports as journal articles and this is something that features in my daily working life now.

What do you like most about what you do?

I love my research topic. Even having done a PhD and additional research after, I am still passionate about the topic I have chosen. I had supervisors, professors, and advisors at the U who were extremely supportive of me pursuing—what seemed at times—a unique field of study/research (psychology of music) and without their support, I would not have been able to pursue my career. I also love that I have worked globally, creating networks and friendships worldwide.

What advice do you have for undergraduates? Graduates?

Get involved—not only in terms of being engaged in your coursework, but take advantage of all of the opportunities at the U.  Volunteering, student organisations, research work, jobs, etc.  It was my involvement in all of these co-curricular/extra-curricular activities that have really benefitted me.  Find/develop a relationship with a mentor—whether an employer, professor, supervisor, networks are very important.

Compiled from an interview with Dr. Amanda Krause (BA '04) who graduated from the University of Minnesota with an interdepartmental undergraduate degree in psychology, child psychology, and music.