UMBC Students Reflect on SIOP Conference

UMBC students reflected on the SIOP conference that took place in National Harbor, MD. They shared their experience with us below.

This article, previously published and distributed by UMBC’s IO Psychology Graduate Program, has been lightly edited for clarity and readability.

A Great Opportunity at the SIOP Conference

Insights from RACHEL BADER, current IO Psychology Student


Current students Cecilia Gaultney and Rachel Bader, with Matisha Montgomery (ICE)

I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend the Master’s Student Consortium at this year’s SIOP annual conference in National Harbor, MD. This was my first time attending the SIOP conference in any capacity, and the consortium was a great way to kick-start this experience. It offered a small dose of networking and educational sessions before the main conference.

Perhaps one of the most valuable pieces of the consortium for me was the opportunity to connect with Master’s students from schools all over the country. There were a couple of facilitated networking activities (e.g., networking bingo) to help break the ice at the beginning of the day. I also enjoyed some free time to just sit and chat about our experiences with school, IO, and beyond.

The nature of participating in the consortium allowed me to connect with other students who are in similar situations as myself. Additionally, I was fortunate to be surrounded by a particularly motivated and bright group of people. We have since created a LinkedIn group to stay in touch (thanks Cecilia Gaultney for taking the initiative on this!). While the UMBC IO community is fruitful, it was (and will continue to be) valuable to expand my professional network beyond UMBC as well.

In terms of the educational content, we heard from some wonderful speakers about some different areas and experiences in IO. Matisha Montgomery from ICE spoke to us about applying for jobs in the federal government. Brandon Riggs from Qualtrics discussed the experience-driven economy and the I-O’s role in shaping employee experience. Amber Burkhart from Hogan shared an overview of the interpretation of results from a Hogan assessment and how we can leverage our own results in our careers. Adam Vassar from The Predictive Index shared his vast experience through his non-traditional trajectory in IO. He also stressed the importance of being intentional with one’s personal brand through one’s career.

The consortium and the main conference were overall valuable experiences, I look forward to becoming a regular attendee of SIOP!

Insights from CECILIA GAULTNE, current IO Psychology Student


Cecilia Gaultney (UMBC) and Lee Duong, Florida Institute of Technology.

My reflection on the Master’s consortium is that I do feel it was valuable. I valued the opportunity to get to know other IO master’s degree students. We created a LinkedIn group to stay in touch. Other students who attended that consortium represented highly committed, engaged and talented individuals who will be excellent sources for learning and professional networking. I also connected with a student who had attended Drexel University with me in the undergraduate psychology program. It was great to re-connect with him and see that my former psychology program was being represented at SIOP.

Another positive of the consortium was that is let us be a part of a very intimate audience with a few incredible presenters. I am now connected with these individuals on LinkedIn and am even getting support from Brandon Riggs on my data analysis for Capstone. This experience connected me with people who will support my career in ways I can’t yet measure.

Rachel and I also made a personal connection with one of the speakers, Matisha Montgomery. She was very welcoming and friendly, which made me feel very included and like I belonged. That is something very important to me. I really appreciated each and every speaker who took the time to build excellent, informative presentations.

All in all, I think this experience was excellent and I’d highly recommend it. I’d say that it may be BEST suited for first year SIOP attendee students. It provides a really wonderful introduction to SIOP. But as a person who was unable to go the first year, I am still very grateful to have had the experience.

From left to right: Cecilia Gaultney, UMBC; Braden Sharer, University at Albany, SUNY; Paige Foss, University at Albany, SUNY; Rachel Bader, UMBC

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