Jami's Experience

Program: School Counseling

Concentration: PK-12


Why did you choose UW-Stout?
I chose UW-Stout because if offered the option to take the coursework at my own pace. I wanted to graduate in two years and I was able to do that by taking summer courses. In addition, the placement/job rate was much higher than any of the other UW System schools that offer the same program. Finally, I chose UW-Stout because I felt welcomed by the faculty before I even started taking classes.

What was your favorite part of your first semester of graduate school?
My favorite part of my first semester was getting to know the students in other programs. I was taking classes with students for the School Psychology, Mental Health Counseling, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Marriage and Family Therapy programs. This allowed me to network with other students and to recognize that we need some of the same background knowledge.

Was graduate school anything like you imagined it to be when you first started?
I knew graduate school was going to be hard, but I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought there were fewer assignments but they were based on conceptualizations. My internship experience was life changing, but incredibly difficult to manage while having a part-time job.

What was the biggest surprise about graduate school?
The biggest surprise about graduate school was that some of my peers in the program had no experience working in the field of school counseling. I thought that was a risky investment for them, but was surprised to see how everyone in my program has thrived and I hope they are all successful in whatever path they choose.

How has your program shaped you life and career goals?
My coursework really shaped my knowledge on many of the topics necessary to be successful on my own. My field experiences, practicum and internship really forced me to practice some of the skills I learned about in the program and to be a better counselor. I was able to work with many counselors and individuals that make me want to be a better person and professional.

What is one piece of advice that you wish you had received before starting graduate school?
Don't forget to balance life in a way that allows for a moment to take a breath and be a "human" again. Make sure to do something for you. While you're planning all of your homework, group projects, and assignments, block out and plan time for yourself and do something fun.

What opportunities have been presented to you because of your program?
I have had the opportunity to meet people who represent my profession from all over the state. I have attended professional development and encourage to enhance my skills with any opportunity presented to me.

How would you describe the UW-Stout campus?
Unlike any other UW campus, the focus of UW-Stout is hands-on. UW-Stout offers a combination of the traditional college learning with lectures and classroom experiences. However, UW-Stout is progressive and takes students beyond classroom learning to provide enriching hand-on and real-life experiences that shape students as individuals and future professionals.

Jami McAuley

"My coursework really shaped my knowledge on many of the topics necessary to be successful on my own. My field experiences, practicum and internship really forced me to practice some of the skills I learned about in the program and to be a better counselor."