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Walden Magazine // Feb 21, 2018

Why I Refer: Guiding Others to a New Path

Inspired by her successful career switch, this alumna encourages others to follow their passions with a Walden education

Jennifer DeSouza
Dr. Jennifer DeSouza

There’s nothing like watching the people you love succeed in life. That’s why Dr. Jennifer DeSouza ’14, a PhD in Psychology graduate, continues to refer her colleagues, friends, and family members to Walden. DeSouza comes from an education background, but witnessing her mother-in-law foster disadvantaged children inspired her to pursue a new path. Now clinical director of the Women’s Therapeutic Residential Center in Henning, Tennessee, she strives to teach others through the power of healing.

How did your Walden degree advance your career?

I already had a master’s degree in education from University of Phoenix, but I knew getting a PhD would grant me more options to start a new career. I was a teacher, but I wanted to pursue psychology to learn how to help people one-on-one. Walden gave my classmates and me the opportunity to perform psychological assessments on one another, which allowed me to advance my skills in a real-world setting. I had some wonderful experiences and met some amazing people at Walden.

Whom did you refer and why?

So far, I have referred three people: my niece, Nicolette Reid; my best friend, Karol Kelly; and my coworker, Lea King. Lea has already enrolled for her PhD in Psychology, and Nicolette and Karol plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in nursing, respectively. All three of these ladies told me they wanted to advance their careers, but they needed a program that would allow them to continue working. That’s when I knew that Walden would be the perfect choice for all of them.

What changes do you anticipate seeing in the lives of those you’ve referred?

With a PhD, Lea will be able to help her clients with more in-depth analytical experience. With a higher degree in nursing, Karol will find more opportunities in the medical field and hopefully will get promoted from her current position as an RN. Nicolette is currently working in customer service, but getting her bachelor’s degree will help her move forward in a social work career that she feels more passionate about.