During her first semester as an Iowa State transfer student, Taylor Mathis (’23 psychology) decided to take LAS 203, a career development course.
“Before taking LAS 203, I had not put much thought into my resume,” she said. “I didn’t have a LinkedIn and had no idea how important it was to network. This course was very beneficial for setting me up for success in my career path.”
Mathis has since accumulated so many career experiences at Iowa State that now her biggest challenge might be fitting everything on her resume. Mathis will graduate this spring with her degree in psychology and will attend graduate school for a master’s program in clinical mental health counseling.
“I am so excited as I am getting so much closer to where I want to be,” Mathis said.
Psyched to be a Cyclone
A few years ago, Mathis realized her college plans needed a reset. The large, four-year school she had planned to attend right out of high school was daunting. Something didn’t feel right.
“Overall, I was just not ready to take the step of enrolling in a four-year college at that time,” she said.
She trusted her intuition and enrolled instead at Des Moines Area Community College, where she fell in love with studying psychology and set her sights on becoming a mental health counselor.
“I have always wanted to pursue a career where I can help others and be a part of another individual’s personal growth and help provide positive experiences,” Mathis said.
Excited by Iowa State’s psychology major, she chose Iowa State as her transfer destination for spring 2021, feeling at home on campus and optimistic about her next steps.
Since then, Mathis has taken advantage of many opportunities to prepare for her career and graduate school through internships, job experiences, and leadership.
At home with LAS Career Services
Mathis is a familiar face to staff and students in the LAS Career Services office in Carver Hall. During her past two years at Iowa State, she has served in diverse leadership roles, from peer mentor to career advisor to intern.
“Working at LAS Career Services is one of my favorite things that I am involved in at Iowa State,” she said. “I started working as a student worker and slowly took on more and more duties and a bigger role within the office. I developed great relationships with the advisors and staff in the office. Just this past fall, I took on the role of a peer career advisor in the office. I meet with students one-on-one during drop-in hours, review resumes and cover letters, and help answer any career-related questions students and alumni may have.”
She’s also relished supporting new students as a peer mentor in the Psychology Transfer Learning Community.
“I love being a mentor for students who are just transferring into Iowa State,” she said. “I remember my first semester transferring in, and I appreciated having peer mentors and having a class dedicated to ensuring that every student’s transition to ISU was as smooth as possible.”
Hands-on health experience
Outside the classroom, Mathis also enhanced her academic learning with real-world experience in the health field. She has worked as a medical childcare assistant at the area nonprofit ChildServe, caring for children ages infant to 18.
“Working with children with medical and health care needs is more than just a ‘job,’ she said. “It’s so rewarding to see the children reach their goals and succeed. I would walk into work every day truly inspired by every single child.”
She said that serving alongside a diverse group of health providers and developing relationships with children and their families has helped her grow professionally.
“It truly has shown me that I made the right decision with what I want to do later in my life,” Mathis said. “It is so important to me to help provide people with life-changing support. Mental health is a vital part of your life and impacts you daily. There is a huge need for mental health professionals worldwide, and I want to support and advocate for others, just as others have done for me.”