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Applying Psychology for "Man's Best Friend"

January 29, 2016

Hometown: Born in Thousand Oaks, CA, went to school in Ramsey, MN
Major: Psychology
Minors: Animal Science, Leadership, US Race and Ethnicities

Amanda Hedberg is utilizing her psychology coursework in a way that differs from most. Stemming from a love of animals, Amanda is applying her knowledge of psychology to the training of animals. Amanda decided on this combination of interests from her history of working with dogs in both a kennel and doggy daycare setting. After observing how the dogs were being trained, and the impact it was having on the animals, Amanda knew she could make an impact.

Amanda has been an intern at Your Dog’s Best Friend since August of 2014. Your Dog’s Best Friend offers services to rehabilitate and prevent problem behaviors in dogs through positive training methods. Amanda was also one of the six fall 2015 Deluxe E-Interns, an opportunity where students complete a 165 hour internship in an early-stage entrepreneurial company, for which she worked for a company called RockPaperStar. There she tapped into her creative skills by marketing authors and speakers, both of which are titles she intends to hold in her future. Using her experiences and natural abilities Amanda has founded Terra Paws Training, a company that analyzes the behavior of clients and dogs to create balance and solve problems. Terra Paws also maintains a blog to attract and educate clients about dog-related issues. Amanda found out about her internship through working at the College of Liberal Arts Career Center, a resource she feels is underutilized by students.

Amanda is undecided about what she would like to do after graduation, but is considering several options. “After graduation, there’s a part of me that wants to do the entrepreneurial thing, to grow Terra Paws and to see how big I can make that. In addition, I see myself writing a lot. I would like to write a series of books connecting working with dogs to our human lives. I found that one of my strengths in working with animals and people is how I can explain things”.

Amanda values the skills that she’s learning through her coursework in Psychology. “I think that I learned a lot about psychology as a hard science. I’ve learned more about critical thinking than I ever knew there was to know. I am just so grateful for that, that I can be approached with a situation and instead of just accepting everything that’s in an argument/study, I can see if some items are totally false”.

One piece of advice she would give to anyone entering the College of Liberal Arts is, “You have to own your process, own who you are, and make your degree what you want it to be”.