By Traijhon Greer
Nicole Elmer is an undergraduate student here at Holy Family University. As a psychology major, Nicole is graduating this upcoming May and is already taking a grad course. As a junior, Nicole was selected Co-President of Psi Chi Honor Society. This is a great honor for a student. Now in the fall semester of her senior year, Nicole is currently a Children’s Blended Case Management Intern at PATH Disabilities Center in the Philadelphia area close to Holy Family University.
In this conversation, Nicole is asked about her relationship with psychology, Psi Chi, her PATH internship, and plans as an incoming grad student.
When did you know that psychology was the path you wanted to take?
I knew psychology was for me when I spent a lot of time in the guidance office during my high school years. After working out particular issues of my own, I wanted to be able to help other people as my counselor helped me.
As a psychology major, what specific area within the subject are you looking to engage in for your career?
I’ve always been confident in my major because I’ve always had an interest in people. The most interesting part of psychology for me is studying how different people react to the same circumstances and different theories of how people are “supposed to be.”
What influences sparked your interest in this particular area?
Since I’ve been pretty confident that I want to become a counselor, I examined what I could do to benefit society. Because my father owns a bar, I have been exposed to substance abuse issues at an early age. I have great interest in becoming a substance abuse counselor because although I don’t have direct experience with the abuse, I have seen multiple people go through this disease that literally changes the physical aspects of the brain. I hope I can educate people about this disease in order to give a better perspective of those who fall into addiction.
Looking back as a senior closing in on graduation, has the experience lived up to the interest you initially had for the major?
To be honest, I did expect to learn more in the undergraduate psychology program. In undergrad, we learn about multiple different theories, general ideas and psychologists that influenced the psychology field but not how to help people who are suffering from mental disorders. Because of this, I enrolled in the 4+2 Clinical Counseling program at Holy Family so I can learn how to actually help people through therapy.
How were you introduced to Psi Chi?
Because I had a GPA of 3.8, my adviser reached out to me and told me that I qualify to be a member of Psi Chi.
What made you want to be apart of this organization?
My love for psychology. I know Psi Chi also reaches out to the community and helps people who are in need and therefore, I wanted to be apart of it.
What actions did you need to take in order to be chosen as co-president of Psi Chi?
During the first meeting, my adviser asked the group who wanted to be president. I volunteered because I enjoy having leadership roles and I was chosen.
What have you learned through the internship that can be useful moving forward in your career?
I have definitely learned that I do not want to become a case manager. One important thing I have learned about myself because of this internship would be that I do try to remain optimistic when things don’t turn out the way that I expected them to. I realize that I put a lot of faith in something that I want to be beneficial and successful. On the other hand, I feel that this is a good quality to have when I begin to work in the counseling field because there are a lot of times when something happens and I would need to adjust to fit the client’s needs.
Moving forward, what are you looking to accomplish in graduate school?
I’m excited to learn beyond theories and psychologists and how to truly counsel people. I feel my undergraduate career didn’t give me enough of what I want to learn about other people. I hope to be able to help change people’s lives simply by having conversations with them.
Traijhon Greer is a junior Communications major in the media track. Currently, he’s projected to graduate in May of 2019.