What Is Supply Chain Management?

If you’ve ever heard of supply chain management, you might be wondering exactly what it is and how it fits into other areas of business. To find out the answer, we recently sat down with Dr. Cynthia Kalina-Kaminsky. She’s the president of Process & Strategy Solutions, and she gave us some great insights into supply chains and how they impact the economy.

Here’s what she had to say about working in supply chain management.

What exactly is supply chain management?

Supply chain management is not a new concept. But it’s definitely a concept that has changed in recent years. At its core, it boils down to satisfying customer demands and finding the most efficient ways to get a product from the manufacturer to the consumer. For example, when you buy a phone, a supply chain is responsible for manufacturing that phone and for all of the steps involved in getting it delivered to you.

In recent years, supply chains have become more complex, and this has led to new challenges. “Companies used to think they had basically one supply chain,” Dr. Kalina-Kaminsky explains. “Now, because there is such an abundance of supply, we create supply chains to satisfy what customers value.”

What this means is that companies require more processes in order to serve their customers better. The good news? With increased demands come increased opportunities for employment and career development.

What types of jobs are involved in supply chain management?

Supply chain management includes everything from data analysis to transportation management. The key to finding a role that’s a good fit is knowing where your interests lie. You then have to develop skill sets to match them.

Dr. Kalina-Kaminsky recommends doing this by identifying what you’re passionate about. “What do you find yourself coming back to?” she asks. Whether that’s working with data, developing processes, or working closely with other people, supply chain management involves all sorts of career options that could work for you.

Is supply chain management a cross-functional industry?

Because a supply chain has so many moving pieces, working in supply chain management absolutely involves some degree of cross-functionality. Although there is some variation depending on the role you pick — for example, a data analyst will likely have a less cross-functional position than a transportation manager — most roles in the industry do rely on team-oriented processes to deliver results.

Is supply chain management a good field for recent grads?

“Globalization has opened up more competition, leading to increased supply chain requirements,” Dr. Kalina-Kaminsky explains. As a result, there are now increased demands that can’t be met by the existing older workforce. “Baby boomers are leaving the workforce and few are being trained to take their places. On top of that, many were or are in legacy jobs that need to be updated for today’s realities,” she emphasizes. Because of these gaps, there is an immediate need for fresh talent to enter the field, not only to fill existing positions but also to help create new ones.

Working in supply chain management is an exciting chance to learn about the processes that power a consumer-driven economy. It’s also a great opportunity to participate in a field that is rapidly changing and evolving to serve a new generation of consumers. If turning that opportunity into action sounds like an exciting prospect, then supply chain management might just be for you.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as Top 10 Things You Should Look for In a Company and find answers to common interview questions such as Are You Willing to Travel?

3 Ways To Be More Productive At Work

Whether you’re just starting your first internship or you’re already settled into a full-time job, being productive is something that should be at the top of your mind. Why? Because productivity not only makes you a better employee, it also ensures that you can be successful in your role and advance in your career.

Here are three things you can do to be more productive at work.

1. Have a consistent morning routine

If you’ve ever read about the daily routines of successful entrepreneurs, then you know that most of them have very specific things they do every morning, from answering their emails right when they wake up to making sure that they take the time to exercise. Although you might not consider yourself an entrepreneur like Michael Dell (yet) having a morning routine is important even when you’re just starting out. A good way to create your routine is by figuring out the things that are most important in your day and then prioritizing them accordingly. For example, if you know that creating a to-do list and answering emails first thing in the morning will make your more productive throughout the day, make these tasks part of your morning routine and tackle them before you move on to anything else.

2. Focus on one thing at a time

While multitasking might seem like a great thing in theory, studies have consistently shown that it doesn’t work. What does work is focusing your attention on specific tasks by dividing up up your day into blocks of time. For example, if you’re a social media manager whose day involves creating social media posts, analyzing campaign performance and attending meetings, blocking off time to work on each of those tasks will ensure that you’re able to focus on each one individually and accomplish them effectively. A quick way to do this is by closing out all the tabs and programs you have open on your computer, leaving open only the ones you need for the task at hand.

3. Take breaks and know when to unplug

Taking breaks might seem counterintuitive to productivity, especially during a busy day when you have a lot to do, but they’re actually a great way to recharge your body and reset your mind. A good rule of thumb is to take a 5-10 minute break every hour to stretch your legs and look away from your computer screen. Methods like the Pomodoro Technique can come in handy here, since they’ll help you stay mindful of the passing hours and remind you to take breaks when you need them. Even more important is the idea of totally unplugging once you leave for the day. Although it may be tempting to keep checking your email, doing so will only keep you in work mode longer, making it harder to relax and making you more tired in the meantime. To truly be productive, it’s important to have some time offline every night to focus on other things and recharge for the following day.

Being productive is a great way to be successful in your role and to show your manager that you’re enthusiastic about your job. By following these steps, you’ll be able to get all your work done and still find time to have fun.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Negotiate a Job Offer and find answers to common interview questions such as What Motivates You?

How To Become A Confident Public Speaker

Confidence is a key part of being successful in almost any situation, and it’s especially important when it comes to your professional life. One of the areas where confidence really matters is public speaking. Unfortunately, a lot of people are afraid of public speaking (including seasoned professionals). If you’re among them, don’t worry. With a little bit of practice and preparation, you can conquer your fears and learn how to deliver a powerful and engaging speech.

Here are five tips for becoming a confident public speaker.

1. Have a positive attitude.

Being able to get your message across effectively starts with having a positive attitude. Although this may seem difficult if you’re feeling nervous, it’s actually not as hard as it sounds. The key is to know your goal and to tell yourself that you can do it. For example, if your goal is to present a new strategy to the entire company, reminding yourself that you have the knowledge and the skills to deliver a great speech is crucial to your success. This will help boost your confidence and ensure that you stay positive as you get closer to giving your presentation.

2. Picture a successful outcome.

If you’ve ever heard of athletes who prepare for big games by visualizing success, there’s a good reason for that: it works! The best way to apply this tactic to public speaking is by picturing yourself giving a speech. Picture yourself feeling confident and delivering a speech that you feel good about. Then focus on what part of your visualization makes you feel the most successful. Is it being prepared and knowledgeable about the material? Or maybe it’s the way the audience engages with your speech, smiling and nodding in all the right places. Whatever it is, focus on this feeling of success and keep repeating the visualization until you’re able to convince yourself that the real speech will go just as well.

Pro Tip: Although this exercise should be a positive one, don’t be afraid to do a similar visualization where you picture the worst case scenario. Why? Because this will help prepare you for any curve balls. Although you’re unlikely to encounter any real embarrassment or problems during the speech, seeing it play out in your imagination (and knowing that you can get past it) is a great way to remind yourself that you can handle whatever comes your way.

3. Know what you want to communicate.

Along with building confidence, knowing what you want to communicate is a key component of successful public speaking. The best way to do this is by coming up with a list of 2-3 bullet points that you consider to be the key takeaways of your speech. Then craft your speech with these in mind and practice it several times to ensure that you’re emphasizing these points as effectively as possible.

4. Clear your mind

Once you have you have your speech prepared and you’ve visualized a successful outcome, the next step is being able to clear your mind right before your speech. There are several ways to do this but the most effective is to practice some deep breathing. This works best if done right before the speech. Spend a few minutes breathing in and out slowly and focusing on your breath. This will help clear your mind of any remaining anxiety and will ensure that your mind and body are relaxed as you prepare to start your speech.

5. Connect with the audience.

Along with being calm and prepared, one of the keys to giving a successful speech is being able to connect with your audience. The best way to do this is by making regular eye contact during your speech and by asking questions designed to engage your listeners.

Pro Tip: A great way to practice connecting with your audience is by rehearsing your speech in front of friends. This will ensure that you’re comfortable with the delivery and able to focus on engaging with your audience.

Public speaking is a great skill to have in any professional context and it’s especially impressive for recent grads who are just establishing themselves in their careers. By following these tips and growing your self-confidence, you’ll be able to become a confident public speaker and to impress current and future employers along the way.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Write a Thank You Note After An Interview and find answers to common interview questions such as What Gets You Up in the Morning?

What is Consulting?

Being a consultant is an exciting opportunity to learn the ins and outs of running a business in an effective and profitable way. Regardless of your major, if you’re a creative problem-solver who is interested in different types of business models, then being a consultant might just be for you.

Here are some of the key things you need to know about working in consulting.

What is consulting?

Consulting is a fairly broad term that can have a variety of meanings depending on the industry it refers to. For example, you can work as a marketing consultant helping companies create and optimize their marketing campaigns or as a software consultant, designing software systems for an organization. However, although the term has many applications, it’s generally used to refer to management or strategy consulting, the practice of helping companies increase their efficiency and profits by addressing the major operational or strategic challenges they’re facing.

What do consultants do?

Consulting roles can vary greatly depending on the type of consulting firm you work for and the companies you work with. For example, if you work for one of the large management consulting companies (such as McKinsey, Bain or Boston Consulting Group) you’ll be following a fairly structured career path, starting off as a junior consultant and moving up to a senior consultant role within two to three years. Working at one of the larger consulting firms also means that you’re more likely to be a generalist in your early years since you typically only become specialized in a particular vertical, industry or type of work after working in consulting for several years. At smaller consultancies or boutique firms, you’ll generally focus on a particular industry from the beginning (such as healthcare or technology) and work exclusively within that industry.

What are the challenges of working in consulting?

Being a consultant is an exciting career path but it does have its share of challenges. One of the main ones is traveling. Although many other careers require travel (e.g. sales), few are as travel-intensive as consulting. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear of consultants who travel four out of five days of each work week, meaning that your non-travel time will usually be limited to weekends. Additional challenges include long hours (12-hour days are standard) and working closely with a new team every few months. Although these factors might take a little getting used to, most consultants adapt to them fairly quickly and are able to thrive in their roles.

What are some of the benefits of working in consulting?

One of the main benefits of being a consultant is having the opportunity to learn about multiple industries and business models. In fact, this knowledge will serve you well throughout your consulting career (and beyond), allowing you to quickly spot operational and managerial problems and come up with creative solutions to solve them. And although travel can be a challenging part of the job, it can also be an exciting one, giving you the opportunity to see new parts of the country (and helping you build up some frequent flyer miles in the process!). Consulting will also improve your presentation skills, teaching you how to build impressive presentation decks and communicate your point effectively to any type of audience.

What is a typical consultant salary?

One of the other benefits of being a consultant is the high earning potential. In fact, consulting is one of the most lucrative professions around and it offers great salaries for recent graduates. Entry-level salaries for management consultants typically start at $63,000 (including bonuses), though this can vary depending on the size of the firm you work for. Consulting salaries increase significantly with each year of additional experience and can go up to $250,000 for a project leader or even $500,000 and above for a partner.

Although consulting is certainly a challenging field, it’s also an exciting one that presents many opportunities for recent grads. The best way to find out if being a consultant is a good fit for you is to intern at a consulting firm and get a hands-on feel for the role and the culture of the industry.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Handle Back-to-Back Interviews and find answers to common interview questions such as Tell Me About Yourself.

How to Become a Consultant

If you’re interested in consulting, then you probably already know that it’s an exciting and challenging field with a lot of opportunities to learn about different industries and business processes. But you might be wondering about the best way to get started. Should you submit applications to all the major consulting firms and hope for the best? Or is there something else you can do to increase your chances of landing a job in this industry?

Here are some of the key things you need to know about becoming a consultant.

1. Understand the different types of consulting jobs and identify your area of interest

Consulting is a broad term that can have many different applications. In order to get started in the field, it’s important to first identify what type of consultant you want to be by learning about the different types of consulting and the roles associated with them. For example, if you’re interested in a specific industry such as marketing, technology or healthcare, you might want to work for a boutique firm that specializes in that particular industry. On the other hand, if you’re interested in business operations and management at a more general level, you might want to go into management consulting, working for a larger firm such as McKinsey, Bain or Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Pro Tip: If you’re not sure what type of consulting would be a good fit for you, spend some time doing research on the various types and getting a sense of which one most closely aligns with your interests.

2. Know what recruiters look for

Regardless of what type of consulting you choose to pursue, it’s important to know what recruiters look for when assessing candidates. For example, since consulting requires the ability to address problems effectively (and often creatively), recruiters look for candidates with strong problem-solving abilities and also those with a basic level of business knowledge. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to be a business or finance major to succeed in the recruitment process. It just means that you need to be able to demonstrate an understanding of how businesses operate and an interest in the technical and operational problems that you’ll encounter in the position.

Pro Tip: Building up your business knowledge and technical skills can be done in a number of ways. While taking a business management or accounting class is a great idea, you can also supplement this knowledge with reading materials specific to the industry itself. For example, magazines like The Economist can give you a general sense of business and finance trends impacting relevant industries.

3. Understand what a case interview is and how to prepare for one

Case interviews are designed to test your ability to understand and solve problems effectively and they are a big part of the recruitment process for management consulting jobs. During a case interview, you’ll be presented with a series of business or logic problems and asked to come up with solutions. Common questions you’ll encounter can include things such as “How many wheelchair users are there in the U.S. this year?” or “How do we increase the revenue for Company X by 15% in this calendar year?” In order to succeed in a case interview, it’s important to ask relevant questions and to show the thought process behind your proposed solution. This is because hiring managers are primarily interested in how you approach problems and being able to demonstrate a cohesive problem-solving process will go a long way towards impressing them.

Pro Tip: Acing your case interview is all about practice so make sure to spend some time learning about common case interview questions and thinking through your answers. A number of resources can come in handy here including books such as Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation and sites like Case Interview.

4. Take an internship at a consulting firm

Few things are as effective at building relevant skills as internships. In fact, having internship experience will not only give you hands-on experience of what it’s like to work in consulting, but it will also help you decide whether a consulting role is right for you. The best way to find a consulting internship that fits your interests is by researching opportunities at several firms and then either applying on WayUp or reaching out to their recruitment team to find out more about the roles and the requirements.

5. Build your network

Having a strong professional network is important in every industry but it’s especially important in a field like consulting, which relies heavily on teamwork and collaboration. Luckily, networking is essentially built into the consulting industry with firms sponsoring social events to help consultants get to know one another and build relationships both within and outside of their firms.

Pro Tip: One of the most effective ways to build your network is by reaching out to alumni from your school. You can do this by attending career fairs that your school offers or even by looking through your school’s alumni network on LinkedIn to identify those who are working in the industry. Added bonus: Many alumni are actively involved in recruitment efforts at their alma maters so connecting with them before the recruitment process starts will put your on their radar at the right time.

Working as a consultant can be both challenging and exciting, giving you the opportunity to learn a lot about how businesses function and how you can help them succeed. The best way to find out if being a consultant is right for you is by interning at a consulting firm and getting a feel for what the industry is all about.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Write a Thank You Note After an Interview and find answers to common interview questions such as What Are Your Strengths?

What Is a Financial Analyst?

Being a financial analyst is one of the most popular career paths in finance. This is largely because analysts can work in a range of industries and also because the field has some great benefits, including a high earning potential. If you’re a business or finance major, a financial analyst role is definitely worth considering. Even if you’re not currently majoring in a related discipline, you might be interested in finding out more about this role and deciding whether it could be a good fit for you.

Here are some of the key things you need to know about being a financial analyst.

What is a financial analyst?

A financial analyst is someone who makes business recommendations for an organization based on analyses they carry out on factors like market trends, the financial status of a company (or companies) and the predicted outcomes of a certain type of deal. Analysts typically have academic backgrounds as business, finance or accounting majors and are numbers-driven individuals who are comfortable interpreting data and making recommendations based on that data.

What do financial analysts do?

Financial analysts are primarily responsible for creating financial models that can predict the outcome of certain business decisions. In order to do this properly, they need to aggregate a large amount of financial data while also taking in account factors like financial market trends and past transactions of a similar nature. Because the role can be quite different depending on where an analyst works — for example an analyst at an investment bank will be much more focused on assisting with deals and mergers that one working for an insurance company — the industry an analyst chooses to go into defines their day-to-day responsibilities. Overall however, analysts play a significant part in providing decision-makers with the information they need to increase revenue and manage assets successfully.

What are the challenges of being a financial analyst?

Finance is a very data-driven industry and one of the challenges of working as an analyst in being able to analyze and interpret financial statements, market trends and microeconomic conditions in order to offer recommendations on potential business deals and decisions. In addition to the technical challenges involved in aggregating and interpreting this complex data, one of the other challenges analysts face is the fast pace of the finance industry. Fortunately, by knowing what to expect and getting the right training, these challenges can be overcome.

What are the benefits of being a financial analyst?

Although working as a financial analyst does present some challenges, it’s also a career path filled with opportunities, particularly when it comes to having your pick of industries. This is because financial analysts play a necessary part in almost every area of business so whether you’re passionate about music or interested in technology, you’re likely to find an opportunity that’s right for you. In addition to having flexibility when it comes to industries, you’ll be playing a crucial role in pulling together the information required to make these decisions and to develop new strategies. In addition to learning new skills like how to create models in Excel and participating in exciting business processes, being an analyst will also offer you the opportunity to develop a strong professional network, an asset which you can continue to nurture throughout your career.

What is a typical financial analyst salary?

Entry-level financial analyst salaries start at $55,500 (including bonuses and commission). For analysts working in investment banking and asset management, starting salaries can be much higher, typically between $100-$125,000. Irrespective of what field you choose to go into, being a financial analyst is a lucrative career with more senior analysts earning anywhere from $90,000 to $150,000.

Although being a financial analyst comes with certain challenges, it’s also a great opportunity to work in an exciting field and play a key role in the decision-making processes of an organization. If being a financial analyst sounds like it might be for you, consider taking on a summer internship and getting a hands-on feel for the position.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as the Top 10 Things You Should Look For in a Company and find answers to common interview questions such as Are You Willing to Travel?

What Does A Day In The Life Of A Communications Specialist Look Like?

From writing press releases to organizing events, communications specialists enjoy a lot of excitement in their day-to-day work. If you’re thinking of working in communications, you might be wondering what a day in the life of a communications specialist looks like: Is it mostly responding to media enquiries or are you more likely to attend a lot of meetings? The answer depends on your specific role. However, although the tasks might vary from one day to the next, most communications specialists do a combination of the following things:

Responding to media enquiries

One of the key aspects of a communications specialist’s job is to respond to incoming media enquiries. This can include setting up interviews or handling questions about a potential company problem. Whatever the case, communications specialists are responsible for always putting their best foot forward. They also must always act with the company’s best interest in mind.

Crafting press releases and other types of content

Communications specialists are in charge of creating various types of content. That said, they must also ensure that messaging is consistent and in line with company policies. As such, communications specialists often spend time writing, editing, and sharing content with different audiences. This can include the media or the company’s clients

Meeting with teams within the company to provide communications training

For communications specialists who focus on internal communication, providing communications training is an important part of the role. This includes ensuring that employees are aware of key phrases the organization uses when referring to itself. It also means educating employees on the importance of an integrated communications strategy. This ensures they best represent the company when talking to customers or the public.

Organizing events

Another important part of a communication specialist’s day is organizing events. These events can range from fundraisers hosted by the company on behalf of a charity and public events designed to build relationships between the company and their customers. Above all, communications specialists are responsible for ensuring that these events are covered by media outlets and that the generate positive buzz around the company.

A diverse and exciting career, communications offers a lot of opportunities for growth while giving you the skills you need to succeed in your role.

Career Opportunities For Psychology Majors

Learning about the ins and out of human behavior opens the doors to a number of different career paths. This is especially true for people focused on helping others. In fact, because of the strong skills you’ll develop as a psychology major, you’ll be in a great position to find a career that’s right for you.

Still, there are many options for psychology majors. Here are some of the most common career paths for this group of students.

Psychologist

As a psychologist, you’ll be working with patients in a one-on-one or group setting. You’ll address personal and mental health issues. This career requires an advanced degree, typically either a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) or a Psy.D (Doctor of Psychology). Each of these requires approximately four to seven years of study.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the various challenges people face in their personal lives. You can also help them assess and treat those problems through behavioral therapy.

Social Worker

Yet another rewarding career path for those who are interested in helping others overcome personal challenges is the field of social work. Based at a clinic, school, or nonprofit, social workers are licensed professionals who help clients work through a variety of different issues. These can include coping with physical health problems, divorce, or even drug addiction.

Depending on the type of setting you choose to work in, you might be addressing several types of issues or focusing on one in particular. No matter what setting you choose, you’ll be making a big impact in the lives of the clients you work with.

Professor

Love research and teaching? Academia is right for you. As a professor, you’ll divide your time between the classroom and your own research. Working directly with undergraduate and graduate students, you’ll help them grasp the intricacies of psychology. You’ll also help them design and implement research projects that will further existing research in the field.

Guidance Counselor

If you love working with students in more of a mentorship capacity, then consider becoming a guidance counselor. As a guidance counselor, you’ll be helping students plan their academic path and prepare for college. You’ll also work with students on their personal development, helping them address any challenges they face.

Career Counselor

As a career counselor, you’ll help college students and professionals identify and achieve their career goals. From guiding clients on their various career options to recommending relevant professional development classes and editing resumes, you are a valuable resource for all career-related matters.

Whether you’re helping patients overcome personal challenges or teaching others about the field, being a psychology major can open the door to many exciting career opportunities. To find out which one is right for you, try taking on an internship. It’s a great way to get a hands-on feel for a role that interests you.

Next, learn more about this college major. Check out What Is a Psychology Major and Is it Right for Me? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Set Career Goals (and Meet Them).

How to Get a Mentor at Work

Whether you’re working at a summer internship or embarking on your first full-time job, getting a mentor at work is one of the best things you can do for your career. A long-established practice, mentorship helps you develop your professional skills while also giving you a better sense of how to navigate challenges (and successes) in the workplace.

Here are the steps you should take when seeking out a mentor at work.

1. Outline your professional goals

Before you can establish a relationship with a mentor, you need to know what you want to get out of it. Are you interested in developing your managerial skills or more focused on identifying a career path you can follow for the next three to five years? Your answer will determine what type of mentorship you need and help you get a sense of the kind of person who can help you achieve those goals.

Pro Tip: If you’re not sure of your exact goals, make a list of the things that you’re most interested in achieving professionally. This can include projects you want to work on, positions you want to hold and the type of environment you want to work in. Once you have your list, structure your goals according to priority and create an actionable plan based on your highest priority goals.

2. Identify the type of mentor who can help you achieve them

Now that you have a good grasp on your goals, identify one or two people at your company who can help you achieve them. For example, if you’re working as an account executive on a sales team and your goal is to become a relationship manager, a current relationship manager or account director could be a great mentor.

Pro Tip: Your mentor doesn’t necessarily have to be someone in a more senior role. Depending on your goals, you might decide to pick a peer instead. This can be especially helpful if you’re trying to learn skills that will help you succeed in your current role and another team member has already successfully developed those skills.

3. Establish a connection with your potential mentor

If your company has a mentorship program, this is a great place to start since mentors in these programs are already willing and able to take on mentees. If not, the best way to develop a relationship with a potential mentor is by asking them to grab coffee and chat about work. If you’re on the same team, you can use your current projects as a starting point. If you’re on different teams, you can explain why you think their expertise is valuable and what you’d like to learn from them.

Pro Tip: Although asking someone to be your mentor might seem a little awkward, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, most people are flattered by the prospect of being asked to mentor others. By establishing a good rapport beforehand, you’re more likely to get a positive answer and to start things off on the right foot.

4. Develop a mutually beneficial relationship

Once you’ve gotten a sense of whether or not the person is interested in becoming your mentor, the next step is to outline your goals and explain how they can help you achieve them. Since your mentor is likely to be a busy professional with a lot on their plate, coming to the mentorship with a clear sense of what you’re hoping to get out of it will ensure that you maximize the time you have with them while also being mindful of their busy schedule.

Pro Tip: A good mentor-mentee relationship goes both ways and it’s important to keep this in mind when you’re establishing a relationship with your mentor. The best way to ensure that you’re adding value to the relationship is by asking your mentor if there is any way that you can help them in return. For example, if your mentor is working on a project that you’d like to learn more about, offer to pitch in and help even if it’s not part of your current responsibilities.

Having a mentor at work can be a wonderful way to advance your career while learning new skills and refining your professional goals. If you’re interested in finding a mentor, having a strong sense of what you want to get out of the relationship (and what you can give back) will go a long way toward helping you establish a great mentor-mentee relationship.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as Common First Job Mistakes and How to Avoid Them and find answers to common interview questions such as What Motivates You?

How to Become a Psychologist

Becoming a psychologist is a wonderful opportunity to help patients work through mental health issues and address challenges in their personal lives. If you’re a psychology major, or just considering a career in the mental health field, then you might be wondering what you need to do to become a psychologist. Do you have to pick a specialty before you go to grad school? Do you need to get both a master’s and a Ph.D.?

Here are the steps you need to follow when getting started on a psychology career.

1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related subject

Since being a psychologist requires a graduate-level degree (such as a Ph.D. or Psy.D.), you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree before you can focus on more advanced training. Although a psychology degree is recommended since it will give you great insights into the subject and prepare you for advanced study in the field, it’s not necessary to have one. In fact, any major that helps you build critical thinking and research skills will give you the tools you need to succeed in graduate school.

Pro Tip: While you don’t need to major in psychology in order to become a psychologist, most Ph.D and Psy.D. programs do require certain prerequisites so be sure to check in with your advisor and find out which ones you need to take. Once you have this information, a minor or double major can be a great way to fulfill your grad school requirements while also studying another subject you’re passionate about.

2. Select a specialty and complete a doctoral program

Once you’ve completed your bachelor’s degree, it’s time to decide on a specialty and to pick a graduate program that matches your interests. This can be anything from clinical psychology to developmental psychology and often includes both a research and a clinical component. Although some universities combine a master’s and a doctoral program into a single degree program, most schools offer individual master’s and Ph.D./Psy.D programs.

Pro Tip: Since most master’s programs last between two to three years and most Ph.D and Psy.D. programs take anywhere from five to seven years, you should be prepared for a long course of study on your way to a doctorate. The key to making the most of these years is to take a broad range of classes while also continuously refining your research interests.

3. Do a psychology internship

Before you can become licensed to practice in your state, you’ll need to complete a two-year post-doctoral internship. Focused on expanding your clinical experience and ensuring that you’re qualified to treat patients in a clinical setting, this type of internship will give you the hands-on experience you need to be effective in a patient-focused role. And because these internships are almost always approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) they are geared toward helping you develop the exact skills you’ll need to be a successful psychologist.

4. Get licensed to practice

Once you’ve completed your doctorate and your post-doctoral internship, you’ll be eligible to become licensed as a psychologist. In order to do so, you’ll need to pass a national licensure exam called the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) as well as meeting any additional requirements specific to your state.

Psychology is an intriguing field with plenty of career opportunities for anyone interested in mental health. By following these steps and knowing how to set yourself up for success, you’ll be able to establish a career that will have a lasting impact in your life and the lives of your patients.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What Types of Skills Are Best for a Psychology Major? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 5 Tips for Getting an Entry-Level Job Unrelated to Your Major.