Alumni Spotlight: Michael J. Corcoran '13
Master's Industrial/Organizational Psychology, West Chester University
West Chester University
My Widener Experience
Why did you decide to major in psychology?
Upon enrolling at Widener, I was an education major. But after my first semester, I realized that I no longer wanted to pursue a career as a high school history teacher. I spent a semester in ambiguity over what I wanted for my future. So I took electives that interested me. One of these electives was Abnormal Psychology and another was I/O Psychology. From that time forward, I found myself fascinated with psychology. And knew that I wanted to make it my career.
Who was your favorite professor at widener? why?
I had so many amazing professors. They are extremely supportive and genuinely want students to succeed, not only in the academics, but also in life. My favorite professor was Ross Steinman. He taught the I/O Psychology course that steered me to psychology; I took every course possible that Dr. Steinman taught. He was one of the driving forces behind me attending graduate school for my MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Words cannot express how grateful I am for Dr. Steinman.
My Professional Experience
How has widener prepared you for life after college?
I was propelled on a path toward perpetual growth and improvement. Not unlike many students, there were many hurdles I encountered while pursuing my degree, but Widener helped me to stay focused. I was raised to have a strong work ethic — Widener enhanced it — imparting a tenacity in me that keeps me in pursuit of my goals. I learned that problems are just opportunities that will enhance anyone’s perseverance. Widener professors aided my transition to graduate school, and the Widener community continues to support me as I move on to earn my PhD.
What advice would you give a prospective student considering your major?
Keep an open mind and take advantage of every opportunity. You’ll encounter things you’re going to like and dislike. When you engage yourself in as many experiences as possible, you'll find that what you want really matters, and [you can decide] the impact you want to make. Also, never lose your child-like sense of wonder, your desire to make the world a better place, or your zeal for learning.