From Touro College to JetBlue
School of Health Sciences (SHS) at Touro College Opened a World of Possibilities Through Its Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology Program
SHS alum Lorraine DeCastro shares how she discovered the rewarding field of I-O Psychology and offers advice for recent graduates looking to start their careers.
Can you talk a bit about your career path? When and how did you know I-O psychology was the field for you?
I wanted to be a teacher during my early years of college, so finding a job with children was crucial to me. I worked in after-school programs since I was 17. At one point, I wanted to know how these programs work. What makes it successful? How do we recruit students/parents? How do we hire? I went from being a group leader to assistant director at the program where I worked, and assistant program manager at a summer camp. When I graduated from Hunter with my degree in psychology, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. I had an interest in Human Resources but felt like I was looking for more. I began to research fields and came across I-O psychology. I attended a couple of open houses for master's programs and was sold!
What do you do for Jet Blue? What is a typical day like?
I am currently an analyst for airport services and I focus on plane fuel and cargo. Prior to this role I was on the People team, but transitioned into this role as a full-time employee to gain experience in other aspects of the company. Though I work with fuel and cargo, my current position allows me to focus and work on what I genuinely love: project management and data analysis. Rather than using a survey to determine employee satisfaction throughout the organization (as I used to while on the People team), we use data to analyze and understand business partner performance throughout the operations. I work closely with our many business partners and stations, or the airports to which we fly. Using surveys often helps us understand where the issues are throughout the operation. Which stations/airports need support? Which business partners need more training?
What are the challenges involved in your professional role? What do you love about it?
I perform constant analysis on fuel rates, which tends to be challenging. I keep an open mind when performing this task because I know it will help me further my career. I am gaining the skills to work with many types of datasets. What I love about my role is the constant support I get from my manager.
How did Touro's School of Health Sciences help prepare you for your career?
Touro's School of Health Sciences did a great job in showing us what is involved in the field of I-O psychology. There is so much you can do and Touro taught us the myriad career paths and possibilities, so we gained a better idea of which particular I-O psychology route we really want to pursue.
How can recent graduates stand out while looking for their first job?
I think the biggest thing you can do, besides the internship which is mandatory to graduate, is to reach out to your professors and ask them if there is any side work or research you can contribute to or help work on. This will make your resume stand out, and will give you actual experience in the field.