Opening doors with I-O Psychology: An Interview with Lisa Brady, a Graduate Student Who Did Her Homework and Loves the Field!

This blog will give prospective students and readers of Industrial and Organizational Psychology some one-on-one time with a graduate student who “did their homework “and loves the field!

Meet Lisa Brady, a new graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She’s been doing some cool stuff and was recently accepted into a PhD program in Management at the University of Alabama for Fall 2017!

PAT:  Lisa, why are you so excited these days?

LISA:  I still cannot believe that I graduated with my Master’s degree in May 2017. My experiences as a graduate student in I-O psychology at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga over the past 2 years have flown by – and have completely exceeded my expectations. The program has provided me with an excellent education in I-O psychology, endless opportunities for intellectual growth and stimulation, and amazing peer and faculty relationships.

PAT:   Congratulations Lisa!  Would you share with our readers some cool stuff you’ve gotten involved with while in graduate school?

LISA:  In my time at UTC, I have worked as a Graduate Assistant at the Counseling Center and as the President of the Graduate Student Association. My time at the Counseling Center was incredible, and I was able to learn about how I-O could apply to so many aspects of mental health and well-being. I assisted with a program called Green Zone, which provides awareness to students, faculty, and staff about the needs of student veterans. My work with Green Zone led to a partnership that grew from a 2016 SIOP Conference Impact Session. Since then, Dr. Pat Engelhardt and I have been collaborating to create a Coalition of Forces for Veterans community-based initiative in Central South Florida.

I am the Community Liaison for CHAIOP (Chattanooga Area I-O Psychologists), a wonderful network of students, professionals, and academics with similar interests in the area. CHAIOP organizes and hosts educational and social events for members to meet, network, and learn more about current happenings in the field. I also volunteer with the Chattanooga Chamber’s “Get-A-Job” program, which teaches high school students the interview and resume skills, and work as a Zumba instructor at UTC and in the community.

PAT: Wow!  How did you become interested in I-O?

LISA:  A few years ago I graduated with a B.S. in psychology and no concrete plans for what career I wanted to pursue. I attended graduate school in Public Health for about three weeks before realizing that it was not for me. One of the best decisions I made was to take time away from school to learn more about myself, and what I wanted for my career. I spent two years feeling quite lost, but I got to backpack in Europe, live at the beach, nanny in California, and move back home with my amazing parents! During this time, I stumbled across the SIOP website one day and came to learn about the world of I-O.

PAT:  What additional advice would give prospective Psychology and I-O students?

LISA:  Linking with the I-O field, I am most fascinated with occupational health psychology, specifically employee well-being. I am also interested in talent and leadership development, data analytics, and organizational development. At some point in my career, I would love to be able to apply my I-O skills within the education system.

As someone who heard about I-O psychology about than three years ago, I take every chance I can get to inform others about the field! I have already convinced two of my friends to apply for I-O degrees and have found myself providing recommendations for other prospective students:

  • Talk with your professors let them know your interests and skills and ask them for advice
  • Get involved in your own research project; going through the process yourself can be much more helpful than simply assisting with someone else’s research.
  • Connect with I-O professionals (or other individuals whose careers seem interesting to you). Message them to ask if you can meet for an informational interview!
  • Learn to say “no” to things that you don’t actually enjoy doing. Take a few minutes each week to reflect on your calendar and decide if your time is being spent doing what makes you happy now (not what will make you happy in the future).


Industrial and Organizational (I-O) Psychology, the American Psychological Association’s Division 14 is both a scientific and applied field of study and can be richly used within most any occupational field. If you would like to learn more about SIOP, please go to

About the Author

Dr. Engelhardt is a medaled Department of Defense military veteran (USAF). Her doctoral research was motivated by over 20 years of government and corporate experience in strategic planning initiatives, instructing productive leadership techniques, and building diplomatic relations. She is a “problem-solver” and dynamic team builder with over 20 years of experience in planning and operational management, small business startup and development, resource analysis and development, education and training, intergovernmental diplomacy, local and international public relations, juvenile delinquency prevention, and mental health counseling for children and their families. Her goals are to contribute to scientific research in understanding leader competency as it relates to predictors of hostile work environments. Dr. Engelhardt is continuing her research and promoting programs which educate and minimize the narcissistic-style leadership suspected of promoting negativity, hate crimes, and multicultural prejudice in the workplace and our worldwide community. @DrPatEngelhard1