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Northwest Missouri State University


Student Spotlight

Alicia Clark graduates from Northwest this spring with her bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology, and she has secured a job with the Family Guidance Center in Maryville.

Alicia Clark graduates from Northwest this spring with her bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology, and she has secured a job with the Family Guidance Center in Maryville. (Photo by Darren Whitley/Northwest Missouri State University)

April 28, 2015

Career Services, faculty helped Alicia Clark define her interests

As Alicia Clark earns her bachelor’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University this spring, she leaves the University with a clearer idea of her career goals because of the resources Northwest makes available to its students.

Clark chose Northwest for its proximity to her home in Fairfax, Mo., and because her twin sister was attending with her. Each fall, she could be found in the bleachers, cheering for the Northwest football team. She enjoyed hanging out with friends and participating in the Bearcat traditions.

But she still felt a void. She couldn’t decide on the career she wanted to pursue. In fact, by the end of her junior year, she had changed her major four times.

Eventually, Clark visited Northwest’s Career Services office to seek advice. She met one-on-one with a career development coordinator and completed “Type Focus,” a self-assessment tool that Northwest provides to help students identify a personality style and narrow career interests.

“I scored highly in math and sciences,” Clark said. “I knew I wanted to help people. I just didn’t know how or exactly what I wanted to do.”

Clark met with one of her instructors to discuss a major that would align well with the recommendation from Career Services and her interests.

“We discussed her interests and I advised her to go into the field of behavioral sciences,” Dr. David Kiene, an assistant professor in the Department of Professional Education, said. “It aligned well with the courses she had already taken and her passion for helping people.”

As a result, Clark changed her major for the final time to psychology and sociology.

This spring, she attended Northwest’s Career Day and visited multiple employers, including the Family Guidance Center in Maryville. In May, she joins the Family Guidance Center as a community support specialist and plans to attending graduate school in the near future.

“It’s ok if you don’t know the area you want to study,” she says. “Come in undecided, take general courses and use the resources Northwest provides. Everything will fall into place.”


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468