It didn’t take MU student Jacelyn Miller long to make the decision to extend her time at MU and continue into graduate school. As an undergraduate, Miller was a member of Chi Omega sorority, the Student Union Programming Board and the Judicial Peer Advisory Council. That level of involvement has continued as Miller completes her sixth year at the university in the graduate program in counseling psychology.
“I had an amazing group of friends during my undergraduate years that I made amazing memories with,” Miller said. “I definitely got the ‘big school’ experience.”
When applying for graduate school, Miller struggled with the decision of where to go.
“Although I thought at first that I really wanted to go out of state, I quickly realized how much I enjoy being close to my family and how comfortable I have gotten here at Mizzou,” Miller said.
Miller applied to the MU counseling psychology program, and a quick look at the awards the program has received helped her to know she had made the right decision. This program is consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation. For the past 50 years, it has been ranked as one of the top four programs nationally.
“I realized how prestigious Mizzou’s program that I was applying for was,” Miller said. “I have gained so much experience from this graduate program that I doubt I could fit it on paper. My favorite memory of grad school is when I got the call that I was accepted into the program. I was completely surprised and really thought I wouldn’t get in at all, so it was a great feeling when I heard that I had.”
Miller is interested in career development at the secondary and collegiate level. The career center here at Mizzou has given Miller a lot of experience that she said has been very helpful.
“The career center has helped me in the areas of career exploration, resume reviews, interviewing skills and helping students understand how to showcase their talents,” Miller said. “I’ve also had the opportunity to teach a class called career explorations which has helped me learn how to work with younger students who are just starting out in college and are completely exploring their options for majors.”
Miller’s co-teacher, Chelsea Nichols, a senior biology major, has had a great experience working with Miller.
“It has been a challenge for me since I am teaching this class for the first time, but Jacelyn has been there for me this whole semester and I feel very confident with her as a co-teacher,” Nichols said. “Our teaching styles mesh very smoothly, and we balance each other out to be effective for our students.”
The two work closely together to plan lessons for class, communicate with students about absences and assignments and grade their papers and assignments, among a few other things.
“We’ve become good friends this semester, and it’s fun to work with her because we are able to get things done while still feeling like we’re just hanging out and catching up on our lives,” Nichols said.
Addie O’Neill, an MU freshman and a student of Miller’s, said she has learned a lot from the career explorations class.
“I have learned a lot of different options to take in the career world,” O’Neill said. “We do a lot of activities that help us decide what we would like to do. It’s been nice to see an example like Jacelyn and how she knows what she wants to do with her life.”
After graduating with her master’s degree in the spring, Miller plans on finding a job as a counselor.
“I’d love to continue to learn and grow as a person and gain as much knowledge and experience as I can that I can show off to employers after grad school,” said Miller. “I also want to make sure it’s an unforgettable experience and create relationships I can lean on both professionally and socially.”
Now that graduation is just around the corner, Miller is looking to keep her options open and is excited to see what is in store for her in the future.