Alumni Profile: Elena Beckman ’16

Alumni Profile: Elena Beckman ’16
Degree(s): BA Psychology, UW-Madison; MS Applied Psychology, University of Southern California
Current Occupation: Senior UX Researcher, Bold Insight

What are some of the benefits of your psychology degree?
A great foundational understanding of research methodology that can be very applicable to many areas of work, unique perspective on how people think, behave and act, trained to think critically and question things which can be very beneficial in any job

How did you find your way to your current profession?
I had heard of UX Research as an undergrad, but didn’t do much digging on how you get into that field. Following almost four years working in clinical research after undergrad, I realized that while I loved research, I was interested in seeing an impact at a faster pace. I discovered UX Research more in-depth during my grad program and fell in love with it; it combines my passion for research with a faster pace and being able to see the impact of your research on real life products! It also involves a lot more utilization of qualitative data which can be just as profound when it comes to UX research.

What advice would you give to students graduating with a psychology degree?
Keep an open mind! There are limitless areas to explore with a psychology background, and sometimes you may end up in an area that you didn’t expect. However, your perspective can be really valuable and often brings something new to the table. Even if you decide to go down a path that feels less related to psychology, that’s ok – but just remember that pretty much every course and skill you learned within psychology can be useful across many different industries.

Connect with Elena Beckman on LinkedIn