We interviewed UMBC alumna, Nidhi Prashant Ahir, to talk about her experience with her graduate work and professional mentorship at UMBC.

Nidhi graduated from UMBC’s Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.): Industrial/Organizational Psychology and works for Deloitte as a consultant in Strategy and Analytics unit.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and readability.


Why did you want to pursue your master’s degree?

Having earned an undergraduate business degree, and minoring in economics and psychology, I searched for a master’s program that would offer me the perfect combination of business fundamentals and psychology theory.

UMBC’s M.P.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology pedagogical design seemed to instill theoretical knowledge whilst ensuring preparedness for the real-world by emphasizing the practical application of concepts. That piqued my interest. The variety of courses offered alongside a mandatory capstone project also attracted me to this program. The capstone experience gives a student the opportunity to pursue independent research or undertake an experiential project at an organization.

Why did you choose UMBC?

I chose UMBC predominantly because of the academic quality of the program, student-faculty ratio, flexibility, and location. It is ideal for individuals who wish to get an experience of both the “scientist” and “practitioner” part of I/O Psychology. All the professors are experts and have vast industry experience. Approximately the student to faculty ratio ranges from 1 to 15, guaranteeing personalized attention and support.

UMBC offers evening classes, which allowed me to do internships and volunteer experiences during the day. Additionally, the program is offered at the Shady Grove campus. This increases accessibility to the fastest-growing employment hubs in the area, including Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.

Can you talk a little about your mentorship experience?

I did my mentorship with David Dye, Managing Director of Human Capital at Deloitte, and it was a great experience. When I first began, I hoped to gain more knowledge and expertise in the IO Psychology field.

With the numerous career options available, it becomes challenging as a student to decide upon a career path. I wanted one that would best suit my professional strengths and skillsets. From my mentor, I had hoped to gain both personal and professional guidance on how I could develop myself and acquire valuable career insights. I received that from my mentor. I learned where I was present in my career path, where I wished to go, and how I might get there.

How did you benefit from the experience?

I benefited tremendously in terms of personal development, knowledge, and guidance from my mentor. With Dr. Dye’s advisement, I’ve successfully advanced my career in the field of consulting.

How do you feel this experience will impact your future career goals?

I wish to start my own consulting firm in the future. I believe that starting my career at Deloitte will help me extensively in navigating towards that ultimate goal.


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