Spread the love

Dear Dr. David Simpson 

I am working on a Career Research Project and am researching psychology/psychologist.  I would like to ask you a few questions about your career.  I would really appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to answer some questions for me.  Here are the questions I would like for you to answer. You don’t have to answer them all in one email! Also, please make sure to include my teacher in your response.  Thank you very much.


Explain why you decided to enter your career.

I always was fascinated by questions about why people behave the way they do. Psychology (and literature) provide for me some of the answers.

How long have you been working in this career?

This is my 41rst year teaching psychology at Carroll University.

Describe the education you completed to prepare you for this career.

I attended Oberlin College as an undergraduate where I received an excellent liberal arts education. While there I explored majors in education, Spanish, and psychology. All my classes after my sophomore year were “ungraded.” That is, I read widely, took exams, and had to meet a certain criterion of mastery but received no letter grade. I earned my Masters and Ph.D. degrees in The Ohio State University Experimental Social Psychology graduate program where I learned how to do research. My specialization was in attitude formation and attitude change. I also began teaching sections of Introductory Psychology there.

Tell me about the skills you use on a daily basis for this career. Teaching well involves continuous learning, relationship building, understanding students’ needs, and patience.

Describe the personality traits that would be ideal for your career.

Intellectual curiosity; playfulness; love of learning; appreciation of individual differences.

Explain what some of your duties are in your career.

I teach. I do research. I advise students. I attend meetings. I do a lot of writing.

Describe what a typical day would look like for you in your career.

Arrive at the office by 7:15 a.m. Catch up on email; prepare for classes. Teach classes. Hold office hours. Write or do research. Attend meetings.

What do you project the job market will look like for your career in the next five years?

There will be an increased need for mental health professionals and students who have the skill sets developed in psychology majors. The ways that professors teach will continue to change.

Tell me about what you think has changed the most about your career since you started.

Students are more busy with outside jobs. There are more distractions (Internet).

Describe what you feel is the best or most rewarding part of your career.

Being able to stay in touch with former students for over four decades. Seeing how they grow.

Tell me about what is a challenging aspect of your career.

Keeping current (one of my specialties is social media).

Explain something you wish you could change about your career.

I wish that I had taken more advantage of international opportunities.

Tell me about something you wish that people knew about your career.

University teaching is very satisfying. One works in an environment rich in opportunities to grow, to share, to pay forward, and to pay back.

If you could give someone a piece of advice, what would you give to someone wanting to enter your career?

Be willing to make mistakes; look for opportunities to learn from individuals very different from you; explore different ways of knowing.

Describe the most stressful part of your career.

Retiring. I have had so much fun.

Tell me about how your responsibilities may have changed since you have entered this career.

I do less first-hand research and more writing. I am much more interested in mentoring.

Describe what has surprised you the most about this career.

I am surprised that my first job is my last job!

Tell me about what you wish you had known before entering this career.

I did not realize how useful knowledge about statistics and data analysis would be.

Describe how you stay current and up-to-date with the current trends in this career.

I read journals; subscribe to several news feeds; correspond with a wide variety of individuals via social media, and reserve some time every day for reflection about what I have learned.