Graduate Student Alumni Spotlight
Counseling Psychology MA
Student Name: Olegario Madera, MA
Program: Master's in Counseling Psychology with Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy (now the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program)
Graduated: May 2012
Employer: Stephen F. Austin State University
Position: GEAR UP iNreach Coordinator
What attracted you to this field?
Once I completed my Bachelor level coursework, the faculty encouraged me to pursue a Masters in Counseling Psychology. While I was certain that a four-year degree would create opportunities for me, it was the faculty that believed in me. As a result, I began pursuing my graduate degree.
Why did you choose to attend UT Tyler?
As a first generation college student, it is difficult to navigate the college process. UT Tyler created opportunities for me to learn how to navigate college by keeping me informed about the requirements necessary to gain admission into the university. In short, UT Tyler communicated very well with me. UT Tyler staff and faculty were knowledgeable and welcomed questions throughout my tenure at UT Tyler.
What do you like most about UT Tyler?
As a minority student with a traditional Latino background, going to college is a topic not frequently discussed at the dinner table in our home. I am thankful that the Counseling Psychology graduate program at the University of Texas at Tyler changed the conversations that I have with my family. Now, it is changing the conversations that I have with members of my community. Although the sacrifices and obstacles along the way are lengthy and are too numerous to list individually, I am confident that the training and mentoring that I received from the Psychology and Counseling faculty and staff transformed my life. The graduate program continues to create opportunities for me to be successful through the knowledge and skills acquired through the program.
What are your career aspirations?
Eventually, I want to pursue a Masters in Business Administration and potentially a Doctoral Degree in Industrial/Organization Psychology at North Texas. It is a dream of mine. Although dreams do not always come true, my success at UT Tyler allowed me to think beyond any of my previously held expectations.
What's your work experience?
I have worked in retail and on-campus housing. I have completed internships with state agencies. Now, I have a position that is very interconnected with the community and it is giving me so much experience in the field of education.
Do you have any advice to pass along to other students interested in this program?
I would recommend that you get to know the faculty and staff and UT Tyler. I recommend that you make it your goal to know everyone in your department and college. They will help you because they care.
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