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Geetanjali Vij

1. What do you do at your present job?
I am currently enrolled at Boston College in the Mental Health Counseling Master’s degree program. I am completing my clinical practicum at a holistic wellness high school in the Boston Public Schools district which serves 9-12th grade students from marginalized identities with complex trauma history. A Punjabi American Bay Area native, I plan on returning to the greater Bay Area after graduation to work in the community as a therapist and mental health advocate.

2. How did your education at UC Davis prepare you for your job?
My education at UC Davis helped me build a professional foundation which valued the human connection over all else. My experiences inside and outside the classroom with my peers and professors shaped my understanding of the world and allowed me to explore the type of professional and person I wanted to be.

3. Are there any classes or programs you found particularly helpful?
The most important part of my experience at UC Davis was being involved with the faculty and student organizations. As a student I was always interested in how context and experiences shaped individuals and communities. This was the main reason why an interdisciplinary major like ME/SA Studies caught my interest. My experience with the community at UC Davis, and the values I gained from majoring in ME/SA Studies better prepared me for my Master’s program than an undergraduate degree in psychology would have.

4. What advice do you have for current students?
I began my experience at UC Davis as a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major and quickly realized that despite having the acumen for the subject I was not passionate about it or the career paths it led to. I stumbled my way through my 4 years and didn’t always have a clear idea of where things would lead but I never stopped trying. A lesson I learned too late was to ask for help. Never be afraid to ask questions! Whether you are asking for help or clarity on an assignment, are curious about someone’s research or wondering how a resource can be created for the student community – your relationship with staff and faculty are your greatest resource.