As an undergraduate, I felt like I had my future all worked out. I would complete my pre-med degree, go to medical school, complete my residency and then move to Paris to practice obstetrics. I had two major influences in that career choice – The Cosby Show (it was the show of my youth) and my French teacher, Madame McCullough who had spent her adolescence and college years in France. Well obviously, I had not shared my entire career outlook with my career and guidance counselor; and with no one to talk me out of it, I was off!
Well, sort of. After major stumbling blocks in the first series of Biology courses (i.e., barely passed), it wasn’t until I took the Biology research course and easily passed it, that I realized a different future might be better suited to my skills.
I landed in Psychology and was fortunate at my small liberal arts school in Ohio to have a very passionate, yet colorful faculty who really awakened a new curiosity in me for understanding human behavior. During my junior year, I worked toward meeting our university’s community service requirement and my advisor located a family in need of behavioral therapists to work in their home, with their 4 yr. old son with Autism. This was an exhilarating experience. We were essentially carrying out non-aversive behavioral modification, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Continue reading