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Jessica MolsonJessica Molson

BA, Philosophy from Virginia Tech
Organizational Psychology MA
Class of 2019

Like many millennials, my undergraduate college experience at Virginia Tech was heavily influenced by an uncertain job market. After initially pursuing a pre-law path with a BA in Philosophy, I switched courses and obtained an additional degree in the fast-growing recession-resistant industry of Residential Property Management. Early in my career I found myself managing a variety of teams across New England. I loved stepping into new teams, learning the personalities, and driving toward success.

Overtime my passion for team dynamics and team effectiveness naturally led me to a career in Human Resources as Director of Talent Management. In this role I was responsible for coaching operational leadership and driving talent iniatives for approximately 800 employees across 11 states. I felt myself up against the boundaries of my undergraduate education, and knew I wanted more. After hearing about William James Organizational Psychology MA (MAOP) program from a colleague, I reached out to Miranda Ralston, PsyD. Speaking with her was like listening to someone describe the work I was doing on the day to day in new and interesting language that I had never heard before.

The William James College experience is something truly special. They take an innovative approach to e-learning that gives you a classroom feel, with facilitated discussion around real world application, from the convenience of your home and office. Working full-time in a leadership role while also being a full-time master’s student is no easy feat, but the William James’ faculty offers the kind of support necessary to allow your studies to work with and enhance your career. The cohort model has allowed me to build a cross-industry peer network of professionals who I deeply respect and admire. As a blended MAOP student I have the distinct advantage of weekends in residence that build collaboration among cohort members and allow you to get hands on experience with the material.

My advice to potential incoming students is to adopt a just do it mentality. The accelerated nature of the MAOP Program is intense and requires an immense amount of self-discipline. Through the process I have learned that there is no such thing as an ideal time to write a paper or work on a project, and while deciding to go back to school is a major decision that should be taken seriously, there is rarely a right time for anything in life. The hardest part of almost every major journey taking the first step.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding the MAOP Program, William James College, or my experience thus far—I’m always happy to discuss!