Alumni Profile: Anna West ’13

Alumni Profile: Anna West ’13
Degree(s): BA Psychology, UW–Madison 
Current Occupation: Physician Assistant (PA) Student, Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions

What are some of the benefits of your psychology degree?
Above average interpersonal skills and confidence in handling a variety of interpersonal situations. Empathy for a wide variety of patients, given my background in psychology and human behaviors as well as mental health and how it can affect human behavior.

How did you find your way to your current profession?
Lots of exploration in my post-undergrad years! Including first job out of college as a mental health counselor, many informational interviews with fellow UW alumni and lots of proactive outreach to professionals in my areas of interest. This included time shadowing various healthcare providers in different healthcare settings.

What advice would you give to students graduating with a psychology degree?
Take full advantage of all of the resources and workshops offered by the psychology department. It will benefit you greatly in the long run! Also, spend time thinking about/researching where you see yourself professionally in the years after college. I didn’t do this while in undergrad and it would have saved me many years of post-college exploration had I taken the time to do the work while in college. Informational interviews with fellow Badgers are a great place to start.

If interested, please list an identity or group membership of which you are particularly proud:
Adult returning student (for graduate school)