“I appreciate the hands-on, polytechnic focus at Stout,” Holmes said. “Client projects shift the focus of education from completing assignments to get a grade, to learning and developing your skills, which is what school should be about.”
Holmes earned her master’s in applied psychology on Dec. 17, graduating early in a year and a half. Even as a commuter student, she felt a “tremendous sense of belonging here. Stout has been my home, and I will always cherish the memories that I made here.
“Someone once told me that graduate school is not about how intelligent you are but rather how hard you work. I have found that to be true,” she added.
“If anyone is considering attending graduate school, I would wholeheartedly encourage them to apply. Graduate school is challenging but equally rewarding. We are all equals here, and Stout fosters collaboration rather than competition between students. It is an incredibly uplifting space where we can all succeed, and my success does not dampen another's.”
How has your Stout education and experience changed you?
Stout has helped me to become more confident and resilient. It has provided many resources and opportunities for me to grow professionally, through seminar classes and Career Services. It has also better equipped me to relate and work with others effectively and strengthened my interpersonal skills. My Stout experience has taught me that I deserve to be here and that no dream is too big. My teachers and peers have instilled in me the belief that any goal is within reach, a mindset that I hope will take me far in life.
How did you overcome the challenges you faced in earning your degree?
During my time at Stout, I navigated challenges of the pandemic, balancing school and multiple jobs, and working with others on group projects. Dr. Dana Wanzer helped me create a plan to maximize my efficiency and help me manage my time more effectively, contributing to better time management skills.
In the evaluation group project, our group was tasked with many challenges, including people being sick with COVID, missing client interviews due to inclement weather and dealing with changing methodologies midway through the semester. We handled what was thrown at us with grace and took the necessary time to craft a quality product for our client.
How has Stout prepared you to work in your field?
The applied focus at Stout and in my program of study has contributed to an increased sense of preparedness as I enter the workforce.
Projects in my courses involved conducting research and evaluations with real world clients, an experience which has been both more exciting and more applicable than theoretical classroom lessons.
My work at Catalyst in the Applied Research Center has further solidified my understanding of research standards and best practices. I was a part of numerous research and evaluation projects in various stages.
My work supplemented what I learned in the classroom and provided me with ample opportunities to advance my proficiency in research and analysis.