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Graduate Program Alumni Comments


Sandra Schneider, MA, Class of 2000

I graduated from the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program at Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville (SIUE) in 2000. There are numerous reasons why I think that the education I received from SIUE prepared me well for a career in the field of Human Resources. First, the course requirements for the program provide students with a balance of both Industrial Psychology and Organizational Psychology courses. This balance presents students with a greater breadth of knowledge while also providing an opportunity for students to identify which content area most closely matches their interests.

Second, the program follows a scientist-practitioner model. This model focuses on scientific research and methodology as well as applying scientific findings to "real life" situations in organizations. By following this model, students have the opportunity to focus on research preparing them to enter a Ph.D. program or they may focus on applying these theories to organizations through practical experience in local companies.

Third, the opportunity for SIUE students to work on actual organizational projects prepares students well for a professional career. SIUE is located approximately 20 miles from downtown St. Louis. This location provides students with numerous opportunities for practicum experiences at organizations ranging from large international companies to small consulting firms. Because I knew that I wanted to pursue a professional career after completing my Masters degree, I took advantage of the opportunity to take two practica. I received course credit and valuable work experience from these practicum experiences in two very different organizations. In addition to practicum experiences, the faculty members incorporate organizational projects into their course syllabi. During my program, I had the opportunity to work with Ameren, the City of St. Louis, BJC Hospital, Bi-State Development Agency, and The Bank of Edwardsville.

Finally, the faculty members challenge students to excel in all areas of the program and give their full support to students' research and organizational project ideas. The guidance I received from my faculty mentor helped me to achieve successes far beyond my expectations.

I believe that it is because of all these reasons that I successfully completed the Masters program and was selected as a Human Resources Specialist at Ameren Corporation. Since graduation, I have worked for Ameren in the area of employment law. I have tremendous support from my peers, as the Human Resources department employs 16 I/O professionals, 11 of which graduated from SIUE's I/O program. My current job responsibilities include conducting training on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) issues, investigating complaints of harassment and discrimination, and ensuring that at all times our company is in compliance with federal, state, and local EEO laws. I have no doubt that the education I received from SIUE prepared me to succeed in the competitive business environment.

Sandra can be reached at