Q&A with Melissa Steach
California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University
MA and PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, LA Campus
Workplace Well-being Consultant at MillerKnoll (formerly Herman Miller)
Q: How did your Alliant experience contribute to your career growth?
A: Alliant's practitioner first model prepared me for "real world" scenarios by equipping me with knowledge and skills I could apply immediately at work.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?
A: My work requires that I remain curious about work! I am continually learning about new industries, able to contribute to new research, and required to engage with new people.
Q: What inspires you to make a positive difference in the world?
A: To quote Kahlil Gibran, "Work is love made visible." I believe that what we choose for work ultimately results in what we contribute to society. Therefore, we must choose consciously because work is vital to our well-being. Therefore, I-O psychologists are critical to the health and success of organizations and the people who build them.
Q: What types of challenges do you take on in your job that you find fulfilling?
A: I enjoy creating new workplace initiatives and challenging my team to either 1) develop processes and roles that can sustain beyond us, or 2) be able to pivot, and maybe even start anew, if those new initiatives fail to launch.
Q: For those who don’t know what someone in your position does, describe your main responsibilities, a typical project, and/or for whom your work week makes a difference.
A: I primarily act as a well-being strategist, consultant, and executive coach within my company and to our clients. A typical day consists of company strategy sessions, client engagements, conducting a training or giving a presentation, and a 1:1 coaching session.
Q: Any advice you have for current students.
A: Don't be afraid to craft the job you want within your current organization, and if you decide to change jobs within your current industry, try to make it a move up in either title or pay (if not both). If you're moving to an entirely new industry, remember that your strengths are transferable. And no matter how expert or senior you become, never lose touch with your beginner's mind!