Dustin Abbott chose to attend SDSU for graduate school because of its highly regarded industrial-organizational psychology program and faculty members.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Dustin Abbott’s Aztec Experience
Dustin Abbott was selected as a recipient of the President’s Award at this year's Student Research Symposium.
Name: Dustin Abbott
Graduate program: Industrial-organizational psychology
Campus affiliations: Psi Chi and Psychology Club (as an undergraduate), Applied Psychology Student’s Association (as a graduate)
1. Why did you choose to attend San Diego State University?
I chose SDSU because I knew I wanted to study industrial-organizational psychology, and we have very highly regarded industrial-organizational faculty members.
2. What inspired you to apply for graduate school?
I was inspired by the opportunity to affect positive change for organizations and their employees. I want to make organizations more productive and employees more satisfied by creating organizational structures that promote job satisfaction.
3. What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
I don’t think there is one best piece of advice I’ve ever received. I’ve had great advice from friends, family, and my mentors. If I had to choose just one, I would say that perseverance is the key to achieving your goals. Even when you’re tired, you just have to keep moving the needle on your projects. Before you know it, you’re at the finish line.
4. Which SDSU faculty or staff member has been the most influential throughout your SDSU journey?
My two mentors, Lisa Kath and Mark Ehrhart, have changed the way I see the world. They’ve taught me how to think critically and ask meaningful questions. They’ve helped me develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities I need to be successful as an industrial-organizational psychologist.
5. What does student success mean to you?
Student success is more than just grades. It's about engagement with your Aztec community and there are about a million different ways to be engaged. For me, that is spreading industrial-organizational advice at outreach events, working out at the Aztec Recreation Center or presenting my research. Success doesn’t always have to feel like work. It can be fun, too.
6. What experience at SDSU has changed your life the most?
Graduate school has easily been the most life-changing SDSU experience. The graduate experience is markedly different from undergrad. I sometimes look back on the past two years and find myself surprised at how much I’ve learned and how my thinking has changed.
7. What has been your proudest achievement while at SDSU?
I’ve had a few good moments here at SDSU. I’m probably proudest that my grandparents got to see my undergraduate graduation ceremony, but I’m looking forward to them seeing me finish grad school.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I’ll probably be working as an industrial-organizational consultant using the tools I’ve learned here to improve organizations and the lives of their employees.
9. What’s your favorite thing about being an Aztec?
There isn’t one favorite thing about being an Aztec. This university and the community within it bring so much to students. I’ve had tremendous support from faculty and my department in pursuing my research, and student organizations have connected me with other people that share my interests. I've also made some really great friends along the way.