Q & A with Marilyn Puder-York on Alumni Mentoring

The Office of Career Planning and Professional Development is hosting an Alumni Mentoring Roundtable on Thursday, April 6, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Students will meet, in small group settings, with nine alumni who will discuss how they got started in their careers and what they like and find challenging about their jobs.
The GC recently spoke with Marilyn Puder-York (Ph.D. ’77, Clinical Psychology), a psychologist and executive coach, about the advice she would offer to students who are thinking about careers, particularly in non-academic settings.

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GC: How has the GC helped your career?

Puder-York: Having the Ph.D. credential and street smarts that comes with going to a city school no doubt increased my credibility.

What advice do you have for current Ph.D. students? 

Know the lifestyle you ultimately want and the kind of income you would like — if you are drawn to higher incomes. Do your due diligence and develop knowledge about those industries and organizations that would find you particular talents and expertise of value to them, even at lower levels. Be practical; keep your feet on the ground. The Ph.D. is a fantastic degree to obtain, but be realistic about understanding how expertise adds value.

What are your thoughts on non-academic careers for Ph.D. students? Do they have good prospects?

I think it’s great, obviously, since that was the direction I followed. If your passion is teaching and research, follow that. If it is not, that is ok — many organization crave super-smart professionals.

What are the benefits of a Ph.D. in a non-academic career? 

The act of obtaining a Ph.D. reflects highly on the motivation and capacity of those who achieve the degree. It adds great credibility and respect. As well, people perceive those with Ph.D.s to be driven and disciplined, with a strong work ethic. Beyond the specific expertise that the Ph.D. brings to a job/career, the degree is impressive and many organizations pride themselves on having Ph.D.s on their staffs. 

Submitted on: APR 6, 2017

Category: Alumni News | General GC News | Strategic Plan | Student News