Name: Mary (O’Connor) Kimball
Class Year: 2012
Title: School Psychologist
Organization Name: Silver Lake Regional Middle School
1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?
I evaluate students’ needs in order to help them access the curriculum at school.
2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?
I had always had an interest in psychology, but was unsure of which specialty. After Holy Cross, I became an admission counselor at a college in my hometown and started to realize that I was more interested in helping a student define his/her own level of success and how to get them there. I contacted Holy Cross Career Planning Department and they recommended that I reach out to alumni who were in the School Psychology career path. One of the alums responded to my email and we quickly established a great mentor relationship. I was able to learn a lot about the field through phone conversations and meetings with Dan that truly helped me to understand the career. Through these conversations, I felt like this was a great fit for me. Our conversations have continued through my graduate school search, graduate school, internship, and now in my career.
3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?
When I was on campus, I was actively involved in Campion House, specifically with the retreats and as a Head Eucharistic Minister. I participated in the Admissions E-Board and was a Greeter in the office, and was involved in SPUD. I also helped to coordinate the first ever Dance Marathon on campus, which was such a special experience!
4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?
My major was in Psychology, and I was able to take a few classes in Education, as well, which led me to my interest in School Psychology.
5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?
I think the major skills that I developed and strengthened at Holy Cross were time management and problem-solving. These are the two skills that are necessary in my career as a school psychologist every day as there are multiple timelines to follow for evaluations, behavior plans, special education programming, and crisis situations that require my attention.
6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?
College is an important time in your lives to strengthen your skills and figure out your identity. Try not to be nervous if you are unsure of what you want to do. Even though I liked school psychology, I had two jobs after college before I followed my heart and started my graduate school program.