By M.A. Rahman
Published: October 3rd, 2018
Brooklyn College students and faculty affiliated with the Graduate Industrial Organizational Psychology (GIOP) organization gathered in coordination with the BC Psychology Center last week to host their second meet and greet since the organization’s revival in 2016.
The meeting, open to both undergraduate and graduate psychology students of all fields, primarily consisted of students majoring in industrial and organizational psychology (I/O). They met and expressed their gratitude over sandwiches at the seldom opportunity that was afforded to them to acquaint themselves with their fellow peers.
According to the American Psychological Association, I/O psychology, for which most of the students at GOIP study, concerns “the scientific study of human behavior in organizations and the workplace.”
“If I say I’m a psychology major, people seem to think I can offer them therapy sessions,” said one attending I/O graduate at the GIOP meeting, referencing the general misunderstanding of mental health counseling and every other psychology specialty, including IOP.
In essence, a rewarding if not mundane career awaits students in the human resources department of countless employers. Such careers involve improving productivity, managing policy, counseling and addressing the concerns of employees.
Naturally, the analytically-based career path has grown high in demand along with increased competition as some students admit their main motivation for choosing a career in IOP is the lucrative value that could be made within it.
Recalling her own time as an undergraduate psychology student, Dr. Jennifer Feitosa, faculty advisor for GIOP, emphasized the necessity for such an organization where psychology students could be open and socialize with fellow psychology students as they devote a substantial part of their time to studying and maintaining their GPAs.
“Because of the work they will do, these students will be busy,” Dr. Feitosa said in a melancholy tone. “They still need connections and work together, at least in I/O psychology. That’s why when I joined BC and heard this organization existed, I wanted it back.”
Dr. Feitosa cited a general lack of activity as the main contributor to GIOP’s disappearance from campus, assuring that she wants to make sure it does not occur again. The club plans to have events later down the line such as a trip to the nationally respected Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Conference later in the year, keeping eager students engaged.
Moira Rousseau, a graduate student studying I/O psychology and current president of GIOP, expressed her gratitude for the return of GIOP as she leads the organization, bolstering well over a dozen members.
“We want things to be informal here. That’s how students probably like it best,” she said as students walked in and out. They spoke to and introduced themselves to one another, loud and reserved, alleviating themselves from the constant stresses they face in class.
“I already have made a bunch of friends today,” Brian Bravo said gleefully after spending some time with a number of GIOP’s members.
A new member himself, Brian understood the importance that the social gathering served. “It’s important because we all have our own social bubbles that we all gravitate towards,” he said, suggesting that isolation would not only do the club a disservice but also the students as they miss out on establishing connections for future research collaborations or job opportunities.
“We’re both halves of a whole. The I and the O – the organizational behavior and human resources,” Brian concluded earnestly.