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Stories | 09.30.22

Words of wisdom: Adler alumni offer advice to the Class of 2022

Adler University is celebrating the successful journey of its graduates this fall with commencement ceremonies in Vancouver on Oct. 8 at The Orpheum Theatre, and for its Chicago and Online students on Nov. 6 at The Chicago Theatre.

Photo of Cassandra Evans

Ms. Evans

While it’s an exciting time for soon-to-be graduates, the transition from school to a professional setting can also be unnerving. Adler alumni remember those feelings, too. That’s why they’re sharing their words of wisdom based on their own experiences to the Class of 2022.

Cassandra Evans, Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy, Vancouver, 2016

I always encourage others to get involved with their associations, it’s the best way to make connections and stay on top on what’s happening in their fields. It creates community, and community will only have positive impact on your work and skills.

Photo of Angela Fu

Dr. Fu

I’d encourage others to get involved and find something you’re passionate about. Start small. Ask yourself, “What am I able to do without overwhelming myself?” What I did after Adler was I jumped in to too many things because I thought it was the right thing to do. But then I found quickly that I didn’t have time. So, my advice would be to make sure that what you say you want to do and are going to do, that you have the capacity to do them because you don’t want to burn out. These associations have committees, join one. Come to events or create conversations on their social media pages. These are easy steps to take to get more involved.

Angela Fu, Psy.D., Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology, Vancouver, 2022

Congratulations on completing the program! I hope you give yourself the time to enjoy this moment and celebrate, as it is well deserved. It’s important to take a moment to be in the present and celebrate the accomplishments with your loved ones and those who have supported you along the way.

Photo of Dr. McGee-Holloway

Dr. McGee-Holloway

Tomeka McGee-Holloway, Master of Arts in Counseling: Art Therapy and Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology, Chicago, 2010 & 2012

I remember graduating from Adler and beginning to see clients. I was so nervous! I spent so much time trying to prepare for clients. I had no idea that I was struggling with impostor syndrome, I just knew that I did not believe that I was ready. Somehow, I discounted the five practicum experiences that I had during the master’s and doctoral programs. It is laughable now, but it surely was not then. 

Photo of William Nichols-Allison

Mr. Nichols-Allison

Over the years, I have come to believe that there was a purpose to this journey from the first time I walked through the doors of Adler University. I have been shaping and honing my innate qualities to aid others in the healing process. There were qualities within myself that drew me to the field. Much like a painter may be more passionate about colors, or chef has a fine-tuned palette, or a mathematician solves problems with ease, I had empathy and the capacity for healing. The years of reading, writing papers, therapy sessions, meetings with supervisors, seminar leaders, and professors, as well as the collaboration with students prepared me to serve in our helping profession.  

So, I guess it would have been great have been told this early on. Although while hearing it may have been nice, I would have also needed to be told that I needed to do the personal work to know that it was true. 

Photo of Amanda O'Connell

Dr. O’Connell

William Nicholls-Allison, Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology, Vancouver, 2020

Becoming a counsellor is risky because you will be changed by the people you meet. The process of growth is fed by love and starved by isolation.

Amanda O’Connell, Psy.D., Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology, Chicago, 2016 and 2021

One piece of advice that I would share for new graduates is that academia’s grind culture can be unhealthy so after several years of managing the hustle and high expectations, it is OK to take time for yourself. Your productivity does not equal your value. Be kind to yourself as you figure out the next step in your journey.

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