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Erika HeilmanErika Heilman

University of Colorado
Leadership Psychology PsyD
Class of 2020

I received my bachelors in psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder where my original focus was clinical psychology. Long story short, working in mental health ended up leading me to a management role in a growing operations department of a healthcare organization. As I dissected existing processes, I ruminated on the psychology of the organization as a system. How could I best manage the frequent changes of a growing department? What were the influential factors of communication breakdowns? How can an organization become organized? As questions of this nature continued to grow, I started researching where and how I could study these matters in depth. What I found has and continues to serve me much more than I ever could have imagined: the Organizational and Leadership Psychology Department at William James College.

Interested in a career as an organizational development and leadership consultant, William James College offered the focus on applied learning of organizational development and leadership psychology that other similar programs in the field could not. I recently completed the Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology (MAOP) program. The program exceeded my expectations, and I was eager to continue to the Leadership Psychology doctorate program, and I am so happy that I did.

For new students to form a successful first-year experience: trust the process and yourself. While having a strong personal support system has been extremely helpful, utilizing the many resources and support systems within William James College have been and continue to be invaluable. William James College has a culture that fosters support, innovation, creativity, service to others, and connections; all of which have led me to thrive in and enjoy the challenge of graduate school. The investment of time and money that graduate school requires can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Because of William James College, I have already experienced a substantial return on investment both personally and professionally. The opportunities and experiences from this program are teaching me the skills and providing the resources needed to not only do the work but also with the integrity and rigor that working with people’s livelihood merit. In addition to what I've shared here, it is worth mentioning that at William James College I have learned how to access my ignorance and verbalize my curiosities with not only comfort, but with excitement. Please feel free to contact me for anything, don't let your questions go unanswered!