Meet Amy (Dravecky) Armour: She launched career in psychology after earning degrees at UA

04/22/2020

Amy (Dravecky) Armour

Amy (Dravecky) Armour

 

As part of The University of Akron’s sesquicentennial celebration — honoring 150 years of our people, place and promises — we are hosting a “Celebration of Academic Excellence” to highlight the history and future of our many academic disciplines. Here is a Q&A with graduate student Amy (Dravecky) Armour.

Amy (Dravecky) Armour

  • A. in Psychology, The University of Akron (Honors College), 2012
  • A. Industrial/Organizational Psychology, The University of Akron, 2014
  • Hometown: Austintown, Ohio

What brought you to The University of Akron — and to the Graduate School specifically?

The University of Akron was a great location and size for me as an undergraduate student. The Honors College made me feel like I was part of a smaller community, while I still had the educational opportunities of a large state university. 

I decided to continue my education in the Graduate School at UA for several reasons. I knew the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program had a great reputation, and I’d already built a relationship with faculty members. I was excited to participate in research, gain teaching experience and begin doing applied work for various organizations as a student consultant through the Center for Organizational Research (COR). I also had come to love living in the Akron area and am so grateful to have spent another two years studying on UA’s beautiful campus!

Why did you choose your specific career?

I’m not someone who always knew what career I wanted to have. My interests are varied, I love learning, and I wanted something that would balance data-based — analytical thinking with genuine human interaction. I decided on a degree in I/O Psychology because it fit all the above criteria and gave me a variety of career options after finishing graduate school. While completing my master’s degree, I tried to experience as many facets of the field as possible. Eventually, I realized that I love working in an internal role (as opposed to an outward-facing, consulting role) where I can dig deep into one organization. Through this work, I get to focus on programs that employees stereotypically may find tedious and frustrating and help organizations handle them in a way that encourages employees to find value and enjoyment in them. It’s so fun for me to support employee engagement and development through performance management and succession programs, especially because I’ve been blessed with genuine, fun, intelligent colleagues to learn and work alongside!

What did/does your graduate program do well? What is special about it? 

The Center for Organizational Research (COR) is so special. It allows current graduate students to get a taste of applied work as they consult on various projects for local businesses. This experience was invaluable to me as a student consultant and has been an amazing support as a professional who has leveraged COR consultants in my own work. 

What experience here at UA contributed the most to your growth?

Participation in activities outside of the classroom had the most impact on my growth. From running student organizations as an undergrad to doing applied work with COR as a graduate student, my time at UA helped me become a well-rounded professional. 

Is there anyone here, perhaps a faculty member, that you regard as a mentor?   

Dr. Paul Levy, the department chair, was a great support during my time in the graduate program. I so appreciate his authenticity, calm demeanor and genuine concern for each student. It’s why I still stop by his office to say, “Hello!” whenever I find myself on campus! 

In your spare time, what do you like to do on and around campus? 

I love the summer Friday night free concerts at Lock 3, going to Akron RubberDucks baseball games, getting ice cream at Chill on High Street and going to St. Bernard Church!

What’s ahead for you?

I currently work at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company as a performance and succession specialist in Global Human Resources. I’m excited to continue to grow in my career and look forward to seeing where my next step takes me.