Alumni Profile: Lisa Anderson ’12

Alumni Profile: Lisa Anderson ’12
Degree(s): BA Psychology with Certificates in Global Cultures and European Studies, UW–Madison
Current Occupation: Senior Business Program Manager, Microsoft

What are some of the benefits of your psychology degree?
My psychology degree gave me an excellent foundation for my career in business and technology. My courses at UW-Madison helped me develop a better understanding of human behavior, and this knowledge has given me an edge in the big tech industry. Studying human behavior helped me to hone my empathy skills, and these skills have been essential in every one of my jobs.

How did you find your way to your current profession?
I first discovered career possibilities in technology at a career fair during the fall semester of my senior year at UW-Madison. I didn’t know what to expect when I attended the career fair since I typically associated these events with the business school, but I wanted to give it a try since I had no idea what jobs would be available to me as a psychology student. I discovered several tech companies with opportunities, and after interviewing with two, I accepted my first position with Microsoft. In my time with the company, I’ve held five different positions across the company within our services organization, cloud platform engineering, developer relations and evangelism, and technical and community leadership.

What advice would you give to students graduating with a psychology degree?
If you are not certain what to pursue as a career, explore the opportunities in business consulting and technology. Many companies offer university-hire programs, and they are excellent entry-level opportunities that are only available to recent college graduates. Students with a psychology background may offer an edge compared to other candidates since they generally possess great people skills and a sense of empathy – these are terrific assets for roles in customer service! Graduate school is not your only option after undergrad. I encourage you to explore the career opportunities you can dive into immediately after earning your Bachelor’s degree. If you are not sure where to start, I recommend exploring the career fairs.

If interested, please list an identity or group membership of which you are particularly proud: 
First-generation college student

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