Author Archives: Kathryn Haynes Owen

Internships in Psychology Workbook

Preparing for Internship at Convention

APA 2016 bannerFirst, the GOOD NEWS! The 2016 APPIC Match statistics continue to demonstrate improvement in the Match rate for internship applicants.  Logically, the improved numbers would abate much of the nervousness about tackling the internship process.

However, for graduate students like me who fit the mold of the perfectionistic-overachieving-anxious student, logic can do little to diffuse internship worry.  The wake of the 2012 Match rate still haunts many of our programs and, thus, pushes us to be ever more competitive for the internship process.

As a recent survivor of the Match, the fears still resonate.  However, I am able to recognize that my success in matching (along with nearly 90% of all internship applicants) was not a fluke.  [In my mind, the fluke is that the Match rate is not flirting with 100%, but we are inching closer!]  Moreover, internship applicants have several resources to help them prepare for this arduous process, particularly at APA Convention.

For 2017 applicants (or the Type-A 2018, 2019, or 2020 applicants), APAGS provides an Internship Track at Convention, which consists of three key sessions to help you understand the internship application process and talk with the key players in the game. As a veteran of these sessions, I would highly recommend them.  As a self-proclaimed perfectionistic-overachieving-anxious graduate student, I found significant value in attending these sessions in both Washington DC (2014) and Toronto (2015).

Internships in Psychology WorkbookThe Internship Workshop is a two-hour session geared towards working through the Internships in Psychology workbook. You will receive expert advice and suggestions on how to sell yourself in your application documents, and some mysteries of the ranking and Match process will be unfolded.  You can also expect to learn more about the vague and elusive concept of fit.  What is fit? How do I find fit? Can you help me find fit?  Do I really need fit?

(As a personal testimony to fit, I noticed that the internship sites that did not offer an interview had two key similarities. Either a) I was only semi-excited about their program, or b) I had added them to my final list to simply boost my number of applications!  They could tell that the fit was missing. I was not truly excited about their sites. They were my safety nets.)

The Internship Track also offers sessions that serve as informal spaces to talk with Internship Training Directors and the APPIC Chair.  At the Internship Meet and Greet, you have the opportunity to meet with Training Directors from myriad sites to learn about their sites, ask questions about the process, or just sit back and listen!  During the Conversation Hour with the APPIC Chair, you can learn more about the big picture of the internship process and ask questions about APPIC accreditation, APA accreditation, rankings, and the Match (and hopefully through the process experience some diminished anxiety and increased calm about this phase in your training).

As you prepare for Convention 2016 and your upcoming application process, I wish all 2017 internship applicants an application process filled with self-confidence, support, and self-care.  I hope to see you all in Denver!

Editor’s Note: Other APAGS Programming Tracks include: Diversity, Professional Development, and Science. Check out all APAGS Programming and social events.

Excelling at Extroversion

Extroverts may seemingly enter the networking oasis of APA with an advantage to our introverted counterparts.  Networking can seem effortless when you love to meet new people and thrive in high-energy environments. Presentations and social hours may also cause little to no anxiety.  However, I give a word caution to my fellow extroverts.  Our presumed advantage could betray us if we are not careful to avoid some potential extrovert pitfalls.

  • Yak Yak Yak: We have a lot to say, and we love to say it! As an extrovert, try to be aware of how much space you are taking up in Q & A sessions as well as informal conversation.  Take a break if you realize you’ve been talking a while – also avoid interrupting!  Monopolizing conversation can leave a bad impression on others, particularly introverts!
  • Talk first, think later: In all the excitement to engage in social interaction, extroverts can fall victim to talking first and figuring out why we are talking second…. As a woman accustomed to rambling (as pointed out by my partner, my mother, my advisor, my brothers, to name a few) speaking without a purpose can leave us looking unpolished and scatter-brained. So pull your thoughts together and speak with intention and clarity.
  • YOU’RE GREAT! YOUR RESEARCH IS GREAT! EVERYTHING’S GREAT! Does anyone else regularly find themselves at the highest level of excitement?! Remember that in a professional setting, you may need to reign in overly-raucous laughter and fan-girl displays of excitement better suited for DisneyWorld or Comic-Con.
  • Loud Talker: Related to heightened demonstrations of excitement is the propensity to speak with excessive volume. Apparently, I never internalized my “inside voice” from elementary school and occasionally shout at people in normal conversation.  (True story: My parents thought I had a hearing problem as a child because I spoke so loud.) I recommend asking for feedback from others to see if you may also be afflicted as a loud talker.
  • Extrovert v. Extrovert Challenge: Do not get baited into trying to be life of the party (particularly at social events). Remember, all attention is not good attention, and your inner stand-up comedian may need to take a break while you are engaging in professional networking.
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Reasons to Attend Convention 2016 (Denver, CO)

Going to APA Convention is an important graduate school experience (and not just to add another line or two to your CV!).  We all know the drill with presenting our research and beefing up our CVs, but Convention has much more to offer! Here are some of my top reasons to attend Convention.

  1. Permission to Dabble!

Graduate school is an odd combination of being indoctrinated by your advisor and learning to critically evaluate everything you think you know (or are told).  Sometimes our focus becomes pretty limited by our long-days and late-nights working on our own research – for me White racial identity development among academicians in psychology.  Convention provides opportunities to branch out and see what the rest of psychology is up to!  My Convention guilty-pleasures (i.e., not related to my own research) are sessions on mental health disparities, feminist roundtables, and racial injustice advocacy.  I encourage you to find your own guilty-pleasures and indulge!

  1. Networking
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An APAGS Member met Dr. Philip Zimbardo at an APAGS Food for Thought Breakfast.

Really, networking could be reasons 1- 5.  Regardless of where you are in your program, networking is crucial. As a second-year doctoral student, I met my future internship training director at Convention. I’m not saying that I matched solely because of this happenstance meeting, but I’m pretty sure I left a favorable impression! Now as I am transitioning to my first job-search as a psychologist, having THOUSANDS of potentials psychologists in one place feels like a dream! I am also always on the lookout for a celebrity psychologist sighting, so that I can have a fan-girl moment…

  1. Any Excuse to Get Out of [INSERT COLLEGE TOWN HERE]

Graduate students who have the luxury of going to school in New York City, Southern California, or Miami may not feel my pain, but I can always use an excuse to get out of Lexington, KY.  While the Horse Capital of the World boasts a cheap cost of living and mild winters, I find myself needing a break from the college town milieu.   Convention is a great way to double dip – professional development and mini-vacation!  Denver has a lot to offer budget-minded graduate students, such as several microbreweries, Colorado Rockies games, and several day-hikes right outside of the city.  Don’t forget to take some time for self-care and enjoy Denver!

  1. Sessions for Students, by Students

Faculty always say that they vividly remember the plight of graduate school… right before they give you a 48-hour deadline of reworking a manuscript and then go home for the evening at 5pm… However, faculty can forget all too soon that graduate students have unique struggles and concerns.  The APAGS Convention Committee provides student-focused programming in response to student feedback and needs.  In Denver, APAGS has prepared programs for stats-phobic students (Stats Phobia: Learn How to Learn Stats [and Work past Beginners Anxiety]), students who moonlight as parents (or maybe the other way around; Two P’s in a Pod: Balancing Parenthood with Psychology Training and Careers), and students from a variety of diverse identities and backgrounds (Connecting with our queerness: Four contemporary takes on being an LGBTQ(A) psychologist & Conducting Research on Marginalized Identities: When Research is “Me-Search”).  For the full APAGS Convention schedule, be on the lookout for the APAGS Convention Booklet that will be released closer to Convention or visit the APAGS Convention website!

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Affording Convention in Canada

prospectus-cover-small_tcm7-180473Attending APA Convention in Toronto, Canada can be affordable for even the strictest of  graduate school budgets.  Here are some resources and suggestions for financing your trip to Convention this year!

For general funding (i.e., you can use the money for whatever you need!), several options exist for most graduate students.

  • Many APA divisions provide student funding or honorariums in exchange for volunteering.  Check out division-specific information at each division’s website.
  • Always check with your university and department about graduate student funding for conference travel.  Universities often have budgets for supporting travel to conferences.

Opportunities also exist to get your (pesky) registration fee waived or reduced.

  • For APAGS members who present as first authors, their registration fee is waived!
  • Volunteering through the APA Continuing Education (CE) Office and the APA Convention Office may provide additional opportunities to waive the registration fee.
  • If you are not presenting as a first author or volunteering, take advantage of early/advanced registration rates.

Getting to Toronto does not have to be a financial crisis.

  • If you plan to fly, BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS EARLY! Also, use sites like Expedia and Travelocity to compare across airlines and get the best deal.
  • Check out the Greyhound schedule for another frugal option.
  • See if you live in a city that has a Megabus line to Toronto and rejoice in the frugal cost of a ticket!

Now that you have arrived in Toronto, where do you stay?

  • Check with other students in your program or send out inquiries on social media sites, as well as Division or APAGS listserves, to coordinate travel and accommodation plans with other graduate attendees.
  • There is a “hotel” that is actually a residence hall for the University of Toronto, Chestnut Residence.  Reservations can be made through the regular registration process.  Rate is $132 CDN single or double occupancy and includes a full buffet breakfast.  Rooms are minimally furnished.
  • Hostels are another great housing resource for budget-minded graduate students. Check out  for a variety of hostels in Toronto.

Finally, food.  Where can you find free food at Convention?

  • APAGS hosts Food for Thought Breakfasts each morningMPj03169710000[1] of Convention.  You can enjoy a free breakfast while listening to some of psychology’s most distinguished scholars speak in an informal setting.
  • Formal Social Hours also have great spreads!  APAGS and various other divisions host social hours during the evenings, which are laid-back environments to talk to peers and colleagues while chowing down!