Amanda's Alumni BlogAmanda Rosenburg

Meet Amanda Rosenburg, our latest Alumni blogger.


November 19, 2010

Here Come the Holidays

Here come the holidays and with the holidays I seem to always get the same old question, “What exactly do you do?” This is actually a complex and complicated question to answer. 

Some people seem to think that I am data analyst, but I’m not. Or they think that I am going to school to be a teacher, yet again no. So here it is in the nutshell, I am a doctoral student who researches and develops new technology (of all different forms ranging from one of the most sophisticated robots to children’s television) and how these new technologies effect (both positive and negative) the lives of our children.

Outside of school I use my background as a researcher to work on big projects. For example, one project I that I have just completed was with Out of the Blue Enterprises, a company who created the television show Super Why. Another project that I worked on was a federally fund intervention to help post-secondary remedial English students improve their reading and writing. Although I have worked on numerous projects all different from one another, I have been able to bring in my own experience and knowledge from my formal education. 

That’s what is so great about not being able to answer the question, “What do you do?” because you can really do anything. The wonderful thing about having two degrees in psychology and working on a doctorate in Instructional Technology and Media is that you are not confined to stay inside a box with a title. 

My mentor once gave me the most helpful advice, “Don’t restrict yourself to only learning the skill or certain platform of a technology, everyone can do that. Learn the theory and pedagogy about technology and child development, that’s where you will shine. You will bring to the table the knowledge no one else can provide.” What my mentor told me isn’t restricted to my area of expertise, but it can be applied to any domain. Being able to answer both the questions of how and why will give you a step above the competition when it comes to being competitive in the job market. A degree weighs as much as the paper it is printed on, where it gets its true weight is in the knowledge you acquire from the work you put into receiving it.

Until next time fellow Wildcats :)

November 15, 2010

When you've told people you graduated from NMU, did they know anything about Northern?

New York is very diverse with many people coming from oversees. Those who I have talked to from the Midwest are familiar with Northern and those from Michigan know Northern. Whenever I tell someone I am from Michigan they automatically ask, “Did you graduate from Michigan State?” I always respond with “No” and then I receive “So the University of Michigan?” “Nope.” At this point I get some pretty puzzled looks, “Where then?” I smile and respond with “Northern Michigan University.” And before they can take a breath to ask where it is, I whip out my hands and make the state of Michigan. I gracefully point to Marquette and say “Right here.” Most ask more questions, “What’s it like?” “How’s the weather?” “What are you doing in New York?”  I always explain further: beautiful, friendly, strong community, frigid winters and beautiful summers, and trying to change the world.

November 10, 2010

My New Motto, “Be Prepared”                  

Yesterday, a colleague of mine and I spent an hour going through and proof reading each other’s curriculum vitas (the academic version of a resume). During our proofing session, she looked at me and said, “WOW! You have done a lot! Where did you get all this experience?” I couldn’t help but smile and respond, “NMU”. She nodded her head and went back to proofing my CV. Even as doctoral students at Columbia, I find that my past academic experiences outweigh my colleagues. Why you may ask? Well, it’s a pretty simple answer, NMU professors. 

From my numerous conversations with students in my PhD program, I am one of the lucky few whose undergrad really helped shape their graduate experience. The professors at NMU really encouraged me and provided amazing opportunities. I can honestly say that NMU professors are unique in the fact that they aren’t there to just teach or do research, they truly look out for their students and try to provide the best college experience possible. By the time I graduated, I already had five different international conference presentations on my CV (Thank You Dr. Maya Sen). Northern helped me get to the place I am now. So, a big thank you to all those at NMU who helped me get here. 

As a side note, I feel it’s important to remind everyone to be prepared for those spur of the moment job and internship opportunities. You never know who you might meet in the store, train, or elevator. You should always have an updated resume (available on your computer for easy emailing) and proper material to provide an email address and phone number (business card or pen and paper). I have been in many situations that have proven beneficial because I had my information easily accessible. NMU students have amazing backgrounds and experience, so don’t let it go to waste by making the mistake of not having up to date job materials available at the drop of the hat. Believe me, I know the benefits. 

Until next time fellow Wildcats :)

November 8, 2010

Does a degree from NMU compare equally to a degree from other schools?

It’s interesting, every time I return to visit the Psychology Department (which is a couple times a year) I always get the same question, “Did we prepare you well?” This question always brings a good laugh with a concrete yes. The majority of professors usually inquire further, “Tell us more!” I can honestly say that a Bachelor’s Psychology degree from Northern provides you the same learning opportunities as a Developmental Psychology Masters Degree from Columbia University. This is because the Psychology department at NMU has an outstanding selection of classes that are well developed and have depth. I have talked with fellow Columbia colleagues about their undergraduate experiences and preparations and most tell me that their programs (from very prestigious schools which shall not be named) didn’t prepare them fully for the Development Master’s degree. So I feel, at least from my experiences, that my NMU degree holds a lot of weight.

November 4, 2010

It’s Fall

Just recently, my husband and I decided to take our son for a drive through Long Island New York to go pumpkin picking. The trees were beautiful, the leaves were changing these magnificent colors; just like Marquette. We couldn’t help but reminisce about our time at NMU and the numerous falls we spent there. It seems that every fall when I see a tree with vibrant colors have a flashback to the beautiful autumns in the UP.  As my husband and I drove, we talked about our hikes up Sugar Loaf with friends and the different NMU clubs we were involved with.  One of my favorite activities was the crisp evening walk through campus when you could hear the wind gently blow and everything around is peacefully calm.  My husband and I also talked about the great Halloween parties put on by the Psychology Department every year! And, being the Wildcat fans we are, we couldn’t help but talk about the beginning of the hockey season. Before we knew it, our 2 hour drive was over and the baby was sound asleep. It’s always so much fun to take the time to remember the past, especially when it is filled with such great memories.  It seems that no matter the season, Northern always brings some form of excitement and my husband and I cherish that as one of the greatest qualities of NMU.

Until next time my fellow Wildcats :)

November 1, 2010

How did you decide on your major/minor?

When I first entered NMU I was a Political Science /Pre Law major. During first semester I enrolled in Dr. Cherry’s State and Local Government class. A good educator can see the passion in their student’s eyes when the student loves the material they are learning. Dr. Cherry knew that I didn’t have that passion. During an office meeting, he mentioned (in a very polite but honest way) that political science wasn’t a good fit for me. At the time I didn’t realize he was changing my life path for the better. After much thought, I decided to finish the semester and change my major to undeclared.

When it came time to register for winter semester I went to the liberal studies list and picked a broad selection of classes. The winter semester was eye opening. By the end, I had found my passion in the Psychology of Child Development (a far reach from pre-law).  I had taken Dr. Sen’s Child Development class and half way through I went to the Psychology Department Office and asked Grace Albert (Secretary) to sign me up. As I moved through my Psychology degree, I found a second passion in research. And from the suggestion of my advisor I registered for the Research Analyst minor offered through the Sociology Department.

Did you end up working in the field of your major/minor?  If not, did not majoring in your professional field hurt you in any way?

Psychology is one of those degrees that is beneficial in many different fields. I don’t really work directly in the field of Psychology, but I am a freelance researcher that researches television scripts and provides suggestions to improve the possible learning outcome.