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Jessica SmithJessica Smith

The Boston Conservatory 
Organizational Psychology MA
Class of 2017

My journey to the MA in Organizational Psychology program was not a linear one. My work experiences have been varied, from a life in the theater, to a career as a teacher, a small business owner, and years of work in both the medical field and religious institutions. I have seen various organizations from within, and have carried those experiences with me as I learned and grew. None of those specific careers were exactly the right fit for me, and as I explored what my path would be, it became clear that the common denominator was that in each circumstance, it had been the function of the organization’s communication and practices that had moved me to want to help, and to understand better the people who made up the organizations.

Last year, I attended a conference for educators which focused on growth vs. fixed mindsets, and about a week later, found myself reflecting back on what I had learned during a theater rehearsal. The alignment of two areas which have had so much meaning for me sparked the idea that my experience in theater, coupled with my interest in group communication, could be of value to those around me and beyond. I started to talk to people and ask questions, and began independent research on who does this sort of work, and how they got there. My search led me to learn more about organizational psychology, which is a field I had not been familiar with, and in turn, to William James College. I am so proud to have been accepted to this amazing program.  

It has become increasingly important to me to engage in work which allows me to feel fulfilled by a career which holds a sense of value, continued learning and marketability. Simply stated, I want to love what I do and to help others do the same. This program has given me everything I could ask for on that path. With remarkable instruction, experiential learning, and a deep understanding of a fast-growing professional field, I have been challenged and supported the whole way. I am excited to continue to learn, excel, and embrace the moments when commitment, interest and purpose meet.

Contrary to the idea that a calling comes out of thin air and suddenly one is propelled on a driving path towards meaningful work, I believe that for many the path can take a lifetime to find and build. I have done many things in my life. My path has never been a straight one, and I am continually building the course of it with knowledge and care. That path has led me to William James College and the MAOP program, and I could not be more thankful.

Please reach out to me, if you would like to find out more about this fantastic program!