Industrial Organizational Psychology


COVID-19: Planning for the Future in Times of Uncertainty

March 29, 2020

How can I plan for the future when there's so much uncertainty?!?

"Things are changing so quickly! We don't know what the next hour will bring!"
"What's going to be tomorrow?!?"
"How can I plan for a future when everything is so unclear?"

How to respond in these times? Do we envision ourselves as feathers in the wind that get blown around despite our volition, or do we see ourselves as stalwart, more like a tree that might bend and get shaken but still have roots, and after the storm will still stand and grow tall?

If we look at our past, we realize there have been other times when we thought the world as we knew it was my lifetime, the terms "9/11" "Sandy" evoke fear and thoughts of, "Remember when we thought the world was over? It was the end?!?" I remember holding my two-week-old baby and looking out the kitchen window while the September sky was filled with paper "snow", wondering whether to quickly pick up my children from school or wait for the regular school day to be over. I wondered whether there would be a tomorrow and what kind of future my young family would have.

And here we are ... yes, the world is not the same after our collective tragedies and crises, but we are still standing and we do still need to do everyday things like eat, sleep, care for our loved ones and earn a living. We have a tradition in Judaism that we are supposed to live every day prepared for the coming of the Messiah. But does that mean that we are not supposed to buy homes, put down roots, flourish? NO! We are supposed to live in this world, to inhabit it, while recognizing that it is temporary. Thus, our job is to figure out a way to take this lesson, this understanding, that things can change in the blink of an eye, that our security can be taken out from under us in one fell swoop, but also to not panic, and to remember that we still have to live, still have to pursue our goals, nurture our loved ones and make a livelihood ( Jeremiah, 29: 4-7). We need to learn to balance these two conflicting thoughts, and temper our emotions and actions accordingly.

When this is over, and yes, it will be over because all things must come to an end (not just the good things), we need to have lives to which to return. Elementary and high school students need to return to school, college and professional students need to complete their degrees, certificates, licensure, and businesses need to continue to grow or possibly reorganize. The same is true for life's milestone moments, people will continue to get married, have babies, raise children, and do all the things that make up the fabric of our society.

Will we be the same? I hope not. We are meant to grow from our experiences and develop new strengths, skills and insights.

Will we have lives to which to return? As long as we do not give up and we stay focused on what is important, we will have lives to which to return. The structure of businesses and education may be different, but they are not going away.

Wishing everyone safety, good health and peace of mind.


Faye Fried-Walkenfeld, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Behavioral Science (Advanced Behavior Analysis, Mental Health Counseling, and I-O Psychology programs)

A master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology will increase your professional value, and equip you with the practical tools and psychological methods to help businesses become more productive and profitable.


Capstone Internship

The cornerstone of our program is the 240 hour IO internship, where you put all you've learned into practice. Upon graduation, many interns are offered a full-time job at their internship location.

Alumni Network

We have an amazing alumni network, in I-O positions, ready to help you get started on your I-O career.

Organizational Development Focus

Our curriculum studies successful organizational change and performance, and projects throughout will allow you to apply the ideas and techniques you’re learning.

Online and On-Campus

Classes are available online or on campus. Online classes are in sequence and at scheduled times, but commute-free. On campus classes are centrally located in midtown Manhattan at 232 West 40th Street.

When you graduate, you will know how to apply psychology to the world of work by bringing scientific methodology to workplace challenges, and be well prepared to join a large organization, work in consulting, business, education, government, and community or healthcare organizations, and to help them tackle personnel issues where psychological expertise is crucial. 

Theories, Applied

As an I-O Psychologist, you might deal with:

  • sexual harassment
  • personality and hiring
  • absenteeism
  • gender and leadership
  • workplace aggression
  • organizational justice
  • diversity
  • cross-cultural studies
  • globalization
  • motivation

Among a host of HR challenges, you'll use your skills for:

  • training and development
  • selection and promotion
  • talent spotting and individual assessment
  • understanding and changing the organizational culture
  • HR strategy during mergers and acquisitions
  • executive coaching
  • leadership succession planning
  • research and data analysis

In our program you will learn to understand the theories, models and philosophies that relate to these areas, and how to apply them.

Graduate with Experience