AU Alumni: Maggie Davidson
Tell us about where you live:
Spruce Grove, Alberta
When did you graduate from AU, and what was your program?
I graduated in June 2003, with a BA in Psychology
Did you complete the program you started, or did your goals change as you progressed through your degree?
I started out in Psychology, but my career goals changed as I went through the program. I began with the intention of working in Human Resources or personnel training.
During my studies I took a course dealing with Applied Behaviour Analysis (Psyc 387) and became very interested in the field of behavioural therapy.
Have you taken courses at another college or university? If so, how did it compare to AU?
I took courses at Augustana University several years ago. I much prefer AU’s courses. I like the fact that AU’s courses are very flexible.
AU allowed me to work courses around my life, rather than having to work my life around courses. I also liked the strong emphasis that AU puts on reading and writing. I learn best by seeing material written down, and found lectures to be largely a waste of time. I found AU courses to be well written and well organised. The opportunity to work through material at my own pace yet get help if I needed it worked very well for me.
What has your AU education done for you? Are you working in a career related to your degree, or have your courses led to new opportunities?
My course work at AU led me to be very interested in behavioural therapy. Since I have always been interested in working with kids, I am now pursuing a career doing behavioural therapy with autistic children. The program I work with uses the principals of Applied Behavioural Analysis in a therapy known as ABA therapy. It helps autistic children learn to modify their behaviour and function in society.
Do you plan to continue your education? If so, will you continue with AU or Distance Education?
I plan to pursue a Masters of Counselling degree. I hope to be accepted into the AU/ Campus Alberta Master of Counselling program.
What are your hobbies / interests/ activities/ etc.
My hobbies include gardening, hiking, camping, reading, and travelling.
What are your future goals?
After completing my Masters, I hope to work as a Clinical Consultant doing behavioural therapy with autistic children.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for other students?
My main piece of advice to other students is to stay focused and organise your time. The secret to completing courses successfully is to work every day. Try to set aside at least two hours a day per course and don’t let anything interfere with that time.
As well, don’t get discouraged. It may seen like it will take you forever to finish your degree, but if you keep plugging away graduation will come sooner than you think.
What was the hardest thing about distance education. What was the greatest benefit?
The hardest thing about distance education was learning to organise my time. The greatest benefit was the flexibility of distance education, which allowed me to work on courses when it was convenient for me.
Thanks Maggie, good luck with your masters studies. Your responses are really encouraging to anyone who has is still on that long road toward the first degree.
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