The Minnesota State University Industrial/Organizational Psychology program prepares graduates for a variety of occupations in management consulting, human resources, and market research. MSU I/O students traveled to Belize in May 2013 to work with High School students there on career planning as well as with local businesses to design leadership and customer satisfaction initiatives
MSU I/O Psychology graduate students met with three different high school classes in San Pedro, Belize. At each class, they talked with the students about career planning. They worked in small groups to discuss what jobs each person was interested in. Once they had time to think about this, the graduate students led them through a discussion about how their previous experiences and talents related to that job. For example, students who worked in a parent’s store were able to talk about organizational skills, financial skills, etc. Most students did not realize how much their experiences could relate to their future careers.
Minnesota State University Industrial/Organizational Psychology also made some connections with local businesses in San Pedro to discuss employee training and satisfaction. One of the contacts we are most excited about is with Dennis Sunderman of Tropic Air. Dennis talked about the many initiatives he’s completed to improve training processes at Tropic Air. We talked about ways for Tropic Air to design leadership development and customer satisfaction, and we now have many interesting ideas and look forward to future collaborations.
We also spent some time talking with Lady Bowen about additional opportunities in the community for developing a career center for community members, as well as some ideas for other businesses in San Pedro that might be interested in improving efficiency in their workplaces.
Finally, we had an opportunity to talk with a member of the Ministry of Education. While these plans are more tentative, she was very interested in how I/O principles might help educators throughout Belize, especially with the upcoming change where teachers will be required to have a BA (rather than an AA).
The Reef View Center accommodations were great! Also, the staff were very polite and helpful. The location for Reef View Center is perfect! We were especially grateful to Fanny and Allan at Blue Tang Inn for all their help!
In addition to the wonderful work the MSU graduate students participated in, they had a bit of time for some fun and relaxation!