Exploring Beyond Clinical Psychology

July 22 2016
Category: Academics

Summer is here and for many Elmira College students, that means internships. We are highlighting some of the internships our students are experiencing, and this week is Taelor Moyer ’18. Taelor is interning in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at the MITRE Corporation.  

Let’s learn more from Taelor herself…

Hey Everyone! My name is Taelor Moyer and I will be a junior here at Elmira in the coming year. I am a Psychology and Criminal Justice double major. Currently, I am interning for a corporation called MITRE. Chances are, you’ve never heard of it before, because before I landed here, neither did I. MITRE is a not-for-profit organization that works with the government to solve critical issues that occur within our country. MITRE runs FFRDC’s (Federally Funded Research and Development Centers) that employ some of the nation’s best engineers, scientists, psychologists, mathematicians and much more. The fact that MITRE is not-for-profit means MITRE has no commercial affiliation and does not compete with other companies for business. This makes sense as to why we (consumers) have never heard of MITRE. However, that does not mean that MITRE does not impact us. Every project that MITRE employees work on impacts the country every day.  

I first started at MITRE the second week after being home from college. I traveled from Endicott, New York (about 45 minutes from Elmira) to McLean, Virginia where I rent a studio apartment. On my first day working at MITRE, I was excited to dive in and start learning. However, I was greeted by a lot of paperwork and days of orientation. I wasn’t too excited about orientation (I don’t think anyone ever is); however, I met some really awesome people who are also interning here. (Fun fact: MITRE has over 300 student interns every summer). After all the orientation, I finally got to meet my boss and begin to dive into the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department. To my surprise, I got an office and my own “company” laptop, which is an added “cool” thing I figured I would share.

I am currently in my fifth week of working here at MITRE and I must say I have learned so much. When I say learned, I am not only talking about within the psychology domain. I have learned so much about the opportunity there is within my future degree. I have experienced what it is like to work in several different fields of psychology. I have met people who work in a field of psychology that I didn’t even know existed. And of course, I have learned psychology-related information such as Qualitative Coding and how to analyze research data into forms that non-psychologists can understand. Currently, I split my time equally on two different projects. On one project, I work to analyze the data my boss gives me to find patterns, things that stand out or anything that looks like it doesn’t belong. My boss works to conduct research on insider threat and cyber security. On my other project, I work to help organize and develop a Technical Leadership training program that MITRE offers. The unique thing about my internship is that I may have one “boss” that I report to, but I can work with several different people on projects of all different topics. This really allows me to gain knowledge about possible future opportunities and gain experience in more than just one area.

My purpose for this particular internship was not to gain experience per se, but instead to open my eyes to the options I had after obtaining my degree (the experience is just an added bonus!!). Before coming here, I knew I loved psychology and I knew I did not want to be a clinical psychologist. I must say that this internship has shown me everything I needed and wanted to know and more. I encourage anyone who is interested in an internship to look into MITRE, it may be the best decision you’ve ever made!

Taelor Moyer