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My name is Sam Betor and I’m a senior originally from Shelby, North Carolina! I will graduate in Spring 2023 with my B.A. in psychology and a conflict management minor. I am currently interning at Mackenzie Ryan, a recruitment consulting firm in Raleigh. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to join such a wonderful company and my experience has been unlike anything I have ever done. While I would love to say that my time before this internship directly led me to where I am today, I would be lying. My path to Gil and Mackenzie Ryan has been winding and unique, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

When asked why I chose psychology as my major, I always tell people “it’s all I’ve ever been interested in.” However, I originally thought I wanted to pursue a career in psychological research. I joined Dr. Sara Algoe’s Emotions and Social Interactions in Relationships (EASIR) lab as a research assistant in my junior year. I am involved in two studies under the umbrella of the EASIR lab: the First-Year and Beyond (FAB) Study and the Everyday Couple Interactions Study. I have helped recruit and run participants for two fall semesters in the FAB study and have thoroughly enjoyed delving into how first-year students develop and maintain their interpersonal relationships. This study examines the transition to college, and how the relationships that first-years build impact their overall social experiences, well-being, and health. In the spring of 2022, I joined the Everyday Couple Interactions Study as a research assistant. The opportunity to observe couples in their everyday natural dynamics and hear about their lives on a deeper level has opened my eyes to the variety of interacting dynamics present in romantic and platonic relationships. I look forward to running sessions for that study again soon.

While my research experiences have been insightful and eye-opening, my true psychology interests were revealed during the COVID-19 pandemic. I watched how my mother, a doctor, struggled to operate due to the organizational structure of the healthcare system. I thought that there were so many ways that her quality of life could have been better during that time. This is how I came across industrial and organizational psychology, a subsection of social psychology. I have always enjoyed environments where I can engage in problem-solving to increase efficiency, but also those in which lives are improved. I want to pursue a career in industrial and organizational psychology, studying organizational structure to provide solutions to problems affecting productivity and customer/employee satisfaction. Human interaction influences the efficiency and efficacy of systems and I would like to contribute to their progress through research-based solutions. My main passion is improving physician, employee, and ultimately patient experiences within healthcare systems.

I chose Mackenzie Ryan as my worksite because of the applied psychology involved in recruitment processes. At Mackenzie Ryan, I work under the Internship Program Manager and Sales Operations Manager, Brad Thornton. Brad has been extremely supportive in my time at MR and I feel very grateful for the opportunity to work with him and my other coworkers. I serve as a Junior Project Coordinator and assist the team with a range of tasks that benefit both the team and my growth. I have improved my technological literacy by conducting thorough database maintenance of their applicant tracking system. I have also gained experience sourcing candidates through various platforms, and refining candidate profiles with accurate and up-to-date information.

I am currently working closely with one of the account executives, pre-screening candidates to initiate the hiring process. I call qualified candidates and interview them, asking about their skills, background, career, motivations, ambitions, and more. I then schedule calls for further interviews. I am quickly improving my interviewing skills and learning how to engage in meaningful and productive conversations. My experiences with pre-screening candidates have built my confidence and challenged me to employ psychological principles in everyday conversations to be consistently productive in my position. I have also built very strong professional and personal relationships with many of my coworkers and I believe this network of people will be a valuable asset in my long-term career.

While I may not be in a clinical or behavioral setting like some of the other interns, the experiences I am getting with Mackenzie Ryan align much better with my future career pursuits. I hope to continue with Mackenzie Ryan in the future and I know that the relationships I am building will positively impact my future career trajectory. I hope to eventually get my master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology and work as a consulting I/O psychologist in healthcare systems. I cannot know exactly what my future holds, but I am sure that my time in this internship program will have an exceptionally positive impact on that future.

I am sincerely looking forward to the rest of my time with Mackenzie Ryan. I would like to thank Dr. Steven Buzinski, Emily Dolegowski, Brad Thornton, Dr. Sarah Algoe, and all of the others who have supported me through my time at UNC and in this internship. I am excited to see what doors this internship will open for me and what I build in my life because of this experience.

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