Student Ambassador: BKayvon Akbarian
Student Ambassador, Clinical Psychology PsyD
American International College
|Program||Clinical Psychology PsyD|
|Concentration||Forensic Psychology Concentration|
It is a privilege having the opportunity to be a resource for those interested in advancing their careers at William James College. Currently, I am second year advanced standing student with a legal and clinical background. A native Bostonian, I became interested in this program over six years. I may not have the scientific background to create a DeLorean, but here was the catalyst that has led me here…
One morning, I met a client concerning political asylum to remain in the United States. During intake, the client had an arduous time discussing the hardships they have suffered. Once legalities were explored, I spent portion of the intake calming the client who grew tearful and distressed when articulating their stories of persecution. My mentor was pleased by my approach yet emphasized the role of an attorney.
Beforehand, I invested 3+ years in law. Prior, I believed the experience and knowledge cultivated from my bachelor’s degree in psychology at Suffolk University could translate to helping immigrants, such as my parents, through a legal lens. This intake highlighted a different path to be taken. Shortly thereafter, I decided to pursue a career in mental health. I pursued a MA in Clinical Psychology (LMHC) at American International College with aspirations to work directly with clients. I gained experience as a crisis clinician, worked in residential programs, and inpatient units to familiarize myself with the wide range of diagnoses and their symptomologies. However, these experiences only piqued my interested to further advance in the field. Mentors and William James alumna recommended a pursuit of a doctoral program. Reflection, consultation, and research propelled me to pursue a degree in Clinical Psychology PsyD.
After contacting the Admissions Office at William James College, I was given a personal tour and allowed to shadow a class. Observation of the class enabled me to notice the smaller class sizes in comparison to other programs. Moreover, the professor did not solely lecture. Instead, it was a forum conducive to open discussion and debate. Additionally, he had students form groups for activities pertinent to practical application. Witnessing this and being able to join a group, I left the class having grasped the material more so than if it was a typical lecture that I’ve shadowed at other programs. After class, I spoke with those in my group whom all discussed the positive experience to have a supportive cohort.
My tenure at William James has been sublime. Everything that I have heard from alumni, current students, advisors, and others has been confirmed. Professors and Administrators always have been able to make time to address questions or concerns. Furthermore, professors are enthusiastic about the courses they teach and are able to integrate concepts to clinical scenarios. Such applications have helped me and fellow classmates approach clients at our field placement sites. Considering field placement (internships/practicums), William James College is unique. First year students will gain experience in the field while taking courses. The process for site applications has been ideal, especially when comparing it to past academic programs and other PsyD programs. The Field Placement department has been a compass for me to select sites that are germane to my future goals. Their guidance has helped alleviate the anxieties one may encounter during the application process.
Lastly, being part of the William James community empowered me to further network and join organizations. Below some organizations that I have had the opportunity to join:
- American Psychological Association (APA)
- Massachusetts Psychological Association (MPA)
- William Glasser Institute
- Sports & Psychology Group (WJC)
It would be a privilege to answer questions or discuss comments you have. I look forward to be a guide and I shall leave you with a quote by Celtics Legend, Larry Bird, “It's been a journey, the NBA. It's taken me a lot farther than I ever expected.” In my brief time at William James, it given me much more than I have ever expected. I look forward to the coming years of what else I will learn from courses, field placements, and my cohort What I have cultivated so far has been invaluable in my maturation as a future Doctor of Psychology. More importantly, I look forward to sharing this journey with my cohort and yourself.