You are on page 1of 5

Amanda Kim

Informational Interview #1
Like me, Dr. Eads wasnt sure what she wanted to do. In fact, she changed her major four
times before declaring a major in psychology. At the end of the day, she decided that the field of
Psychology was broad and flexible enough for her to try a broad range of professions.
She worked part-time and attended community college for two years before she
transferred to UNC Wilmington. Even though she had completed most of her major within the
first two years of community college, Dr. Eads had to retake some of her classes, classes that
used the exact same textbook! Even though the classes werent too hard, she didnt like that she
had to pay for classes she had already taken, and that because of those classes she would be in
school longer than she had originally planned. Upon graduation, she wasnt interested in
graduate school and was instead hired by SmartStart, where she consulted with teachers working
in childcare. It wasnt until a mentor of hers encouraged her to go back to graduate school. So,
she attended Wake Forest University, and after graduation she taught for a community college in
liberal art studies. At some point in time, she was a preschool director for public schools and
taught in higher education for 14 years. Currently, Dr. Eads works with high schools, 58
community colleges, and 15 universities. Interestingly enough, Dr. Eads job is to help create
smoother transfers between the school systems. As a result, she is usually answering the phone,
checking and replying to emails or attending meetings from 9am to 6pm. The best part about her
job is that after 6pm she no longer has to work. Unlike when she was teaching or attending
school, this is the first time she hasnt had to take any part of her work home with her.
From her story, I realized that mentors, timing and having the courage to take advantage
of opportunities are essential ways to navigate yourself if you are still unsure what to do. Dr.
Eads explained that even if you have to move to a new state or realize that you dont like your
job, all you have to do is keep searching for job opportunities that interest you. This way you
always have options. She also showed me the importance of following your heart. Even though
she did eventually go to graduate school, Dr. Eads feels as if she only did so because of the
timing of her conversation with her mentor. It doesnt matter if she had had that exact same
conversation earlier, she probably would have ignored her mentors advice. Life never turns out
the way you think it will.
As my first informational interview with a stranger, I cant imagine a better person to
have spoken with. I feel like we have very similar interests, values, beliefs and even lifestyle
expectations. When I asked her if it was possible to balance life and work, she said that it is,
however, she just happened to not be very good at it. I asked her if she had any words of
wisdom for those also trying to find a balance, she stated that its important to have
boundaries. She explained that people like she and I, find it hard to stop helping. At the end
of the day we only have so much time. So every so often, its good to stop and take time for
yourself, even if it means holding ourselves accountable by making appointments. The best
way to live is to get into a routine. I couldnt agree more. When I asked her what was the best
and worse aspects of her current job she explained that she loves this job because it is
challenging. Everyday she is faced with questions that she may or may not have the answer to.
So, sometimes she has to go and search for the answers, which naturally result in her learning
something new. Amusingly, Dr. Eabs explained that the worst aspect of the job is the desire to be

Amanda Kim
an expert with all of the answers. I say this is amusing, because I know exactly how she feels! I
felt like I could really relate to Dr. Eabs. What are the chances that your first informational
interview is with someone you feel like you can completely relate to? Even more amazing was
that she caught on to the fact that I value flexibility within a job or a career. When she pointed
this out, I decided to go ahead and disclose to her that I had a sleeping disorder. As soon as I said
this, she began to laugh. It turns out that she is an insomniac!
After this interview I am actually excited to explore the field of psychology. I realize that
by specifically striving to be a school psychologist I may be unintentionally shutting myself off
from the other areas of psychology. It turns out that Dr. Eads husband is currently finishing his
PhD in marriage and family counseling. Dr. Eads was kind enough to give me her husbands
information along with another contact who is currently teaching psychology at a community
college where she is also creating a new program for Human Services. With these two contacts
along, I can explore the clinical and teaching aspects of psychology.

Informational Interview Questions

Lisa Mabe Eads, Ph.D. Program Coordinator of Public Service Technologies, Early Childhood
Education, and Career & College Promise
1. Where were you when you were my age, and how did you get from there to where you
are today? Were you ever lost? When did you realize this is what you wanted to do?
-Wasnt sure what she wanted to do
-Psychology (broad & flexible)
*Knew she wanted to work with woman and children
-BUT not in childcare (was current part-time job)
-Changed her major 4 times before deciding on psychology (unofficially)
-Transferred to UNC Wilmington
* Had to retake classes (receiving end of losing credits)
-Finished degree in psychology
*Not interested in graduate school
*What can you do in psychology?
-1st job = SmartStart consulting (worked with teachers working in childcare)
-Worked as preschool director for public school
-Mentor encouraged her to go back to school
*Masters Program in Liberal Arts Studies at WFU
-Realized she wanted to teach higher education aught for 14 years
-Began teaching at a community college
*Began as psychology adjunct instructor
*Taught teaching method classes for teachers

Amanda Kim
2. What has been key to achieving the level of success that youve reached in your life?
-Mentors, timing & the courage to take opportunities
* Currently living separately from her husband
*Referred to decision to go to graduate school
3. Please describe a typical day in the life of your job. How would you describe the
atmosphere/culture of the work place? What is the most rewarding part of your job? What
are the toughest problems and decisions with which youve had to handle?
-Works in an office from 9am 6pm
-Phone calls, e-mails, meetings
*Curriculum directing
-Programs of public service degrees
-Transfer degrees
*Speaks to community colleges and universities
-Helps in development of programs of study
-Answers questions about laws
-Day trips (within the state)
-Some out of state conferences
-Works with:
*58 community
*15 universities
*High schools = NEW addition
-Positive aspect of job =
*Does NOT take anything home with her
*The work is challenging
-Negative aspect of job =
*Wanting to know or have all of the answers
*Constant policy changes
4. How do you balance your personal and professional life? How much flexibility is
permitted within your job (hours, vacation, dress code)?
-Not good at balancing, still struggling
-LOVES this job
*Learned its important to have this boundary
*Hard to stop helping
-People in my life ground me
-Take time for yourself
*Keep a schedule, Get into a routine
*Schedules a monthly massage

Amanda Kim
5. What skills must someone have to succeed in your field?
-People skills
-Knowledge, confidence
-Listening skills
Some technical forms were submitted & not signed before she started the job
-Had to deal with frustrated people who did their part correctly
-Must remember to show compassion and understanding
6. What college courses were most helpful to you throughout your professional career? Are
there any extracurricular or other experiences (work, volunteering, internships, etc.) that
would enhance my chances of employment?
-Psychology class in HS
*Enjoyed the class
-Took psychology classes in college (exposed her to different fields)
*Heard stories from teachers who were in different fields
Therapist (now teacher) = Had a client who is bipolar
*Client would call late at night & threaten to commit suicide
*Each time the therapist followed the regulations to the letter
*One time, his client threatened to kill himself again & shot a gun
*Therapist though his client was dead
*Turns out the client shot the gun to be mean & to manipulate her
*So, she quit her job and now enjoys teaching
-Major required research
*Still remembers having to recruit students for her project
*Enjoyed it at the time, but couldnt see herself doing that for the rest of her life
-Jobs she took
*Learned that she loved teaching > research
-Volunteer opportunities
7. Do you happen to know the current demand for entry-level employees in this particular

Skipped this question!

Amanda Kim
8. What do you know now that would have been helpful to know when you were in my
*Now = 38 years old
*My age = 19 years old
She wishes someone had told her:
-Youre going take the long path; the long way around
-Who you are is going to change
*Its okay to change
*Its okay not to know
-Explore different opportunities
*Just try it out!
*Dont think your first job is going to be your career
*Relax and enjoy
-Always look for opportunity
9. Is there anyone else in the field with whom you would suggest I speak?
-Husband marriage and family, Baptist Hospital (supervision, clinic, therapy)
*Licensing hours
*Masters in divinity
*Majored in Economics (laid off)
-Will e-mail me with others

101 Brae Ridge Lane
King, NC 27021