Wysteria Drumm

Wysteria Drumm

Wysteria Drumm

When are you graduating?

Spring 2023

Describe your dissertation, thesis, or capstone (if you completed one):

We looked at the relationship between employee perceptions of their work-life balance and their turnover intentions, mediating for affective organizational commitment to better understand how emotions impact workplace attitudes and behaviors.

How did you choose your specific area of study?

I was primarily driven by my passion for helping others. IO Psychology allows me to make impactful changes in people's lives by developing and supporting necessary changes in the workplace. In discussing my career goals it was clear that I wanted to make a difference in the workplace and help build more comprehensive strategies to organizational problems. While studying Human Resources at Virginia Commonwealth University it was actually Dr. Jose Cortina, a former Mason professor; who overheard my goals and encouraged me to pursue the field of IO.

How did your academic experiences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences impact you?

I would say that I am more curious as a result of my academic experiences. Rather than accept things for how they are I often find myself wondering what measures can be put in place to improve situations. In turn, I seek to understand why and how things work so that I can view a problem from all angles to help inform my decision process. Overall I have developed a new appreciation for what makes us all different and how those individual differences contribute to and impact larger dynamics

Of which accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud?

I am most proud of my growth as an individual. Coming into the program I wasn't sure what to expect as far as whether or not I would be successful in following my passion. More and more I found where I was able to come out of my shell and connect with others. Eventually, this extended into my personal life outside of school and I found where I was more confident in pursuing new opportunities, building meaningful relationships, and believing in myself. It is difficult to pinpoint one major accomplishment as far as academic performance or professional growth when it ultimately boils down to the newfound sense of confidence I was able to grow.

Are there faculty or staff members who made a difference during your Mason career?

The Mason MPS IO Psychology program has some of the most wonderful and supportive people I will ever meet on their faculty. It is difficult to give just one example of how wonderful they truly are when I have so many fond memories from various conversations with each one. Over the course of the program, they made considerable efforts to encourage and build up students. I always looked forward to our meetings and phone calls where they gave tremendous amounts of coaching and advice. Most notably there was a pivotal moment when I was struggling to move forward with my professional career and was even doubting my general abilities. Dr. Kevin Stagl set aside time to meet with me and, through a very memorable conversation, he built back my confidence and helped me see where my doubts were continuously getting in my way. Since that conversation, I have been more sure of myself when speaking to others and am more willing to take chances on new opportunities. This level of support was always present when speaking with faculty but the encouragement I received during this particular call will always stay with me.

What advice would you give to an incoming cohort of graduate students?

Don't be afraid to reach out to others for support. Building meaningful relationships with your peers is one of the best things you can do during this program. Everyone wants you to succeed and is here to offer you support. Being there for one another not only helps you through your coursework but will foster long-lasting friendships. I am grateful to everyone I met during my time at Mason and am excited to see where we will all go after graduation.

What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?

My current career plans are to continue growing with my new organization where I can advise on best workplace practices. I enjoy bringing the IO Psychology perspective with me wherever I go and to each team I work with. My hope is to one day work towards a Ph.D. so that I can continue research and make an impact on our understanding of diversity and team dynamics. I would love to better understand how we can create more inclusive and equitable spaces that empower everyone to achieve their best self and feel safe in the workplace.