Psychology Majors and Tech Start-Ups

Psychology & Career Start-Ups

Here's an interesting example of a Psychology major from Xavier University, Katie Keller,who had planned to earn a graduate degree in industrial and organizational (IO) psychology in order to secure a job with a large company (e.g., Proctor & Gamble). However, Katie took at internship with Bad Girl Ventures. This is a program that helps women-owned businesses get access to capital. Working at this internship changed Katie's  career path. She became fascinated with start-ups and “the possibility of taking an idea from its conception all the way through to launching a business”. In the end, taking a non-traditional career path has paid off for Katie. She graduated from Xavier University with degrees in both psychology and business, took roles at start-ups in New York City and Cincinnati, and is now located in Cincinnati as the Director of Communications for a start-up called Hello Parent!, a female founded tech company helping parents to connect and organize their lives. Katie does social media promotion, data analyses, customer relations, and weekly blogging. all made easier because of her psychology background.   Katie says that her psychology training gave her “exceptional communication skills and writing skills, which is extremely beneficial when trying to build a brand and company culture around an idea.” In addition, Katie uses her knowledge of IO psychology to assist in the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring. 

Working for a start-up might be right for you, especially if you are looking for a job that provides room for creativity, and tend to be fast-paced. In addition, Katie notes that start-ups offer “tons of room for personal development” because there is always something new to learn. Keep in mind, however, that a start-up is not for everyone, because it requires a positive outlook. Moreover, Katie states that, “Startups can be very up and down with cultivating ideas, raising money, hiring/firing, team building, launching a product etc., so I try to stay positive when things are changing rapidly. It’s a very fast paced environment, which is difficult for some people, but I like to move fast so it’s the perfect environment for me” 

female working on computer Katie believes the best way to see if a start-up is for you is to get an internship with a start-up in order to better understand the culture and expectations that come with start-up businesses . Her final piece of advice to those interested in pursuing careers in start-ups is to go for it because “you’ll never know what you like unless you try it!”

Please note that the comments of Dr. Golding and the others who post on this blog express their own opinion and not that of the University of Kentucky.

Want More?

Visit our website to learn more about possible careers for psychology majors or those interested in jobs that involve psychology.

Learn how to succeed in college with Professor Golding’s blog.

Check out Dr. Lippert’s website to learn about her work as a cognitive psychologist.

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