As a double-major in psychology and theater, Joshua Mauro ’12 identified with several communities within UMass that were a great source of motivation and guidance. Now an admissions coordinator for Signet Education, his team guides students through the college application process and prepares them for a successful academic career.
As an undergraduate psychology major, Mauro took on the role of research assistant within Professor Linda Isbell’s Affect and Social Cognition Lab. Isbell’s research focuses on how affective feelings may convey valuable information that guides individuals’ thoughts, judgments, and actions. The lab also examines how affect influences information processing during everyday activities such as reading a news article.
Over the course of his 2 ½ years in the lab, Mauro’s responsibilities evolved significantly. He began working more closely with the primary investigators (PI’s), learning more about the structure and function of the lab environment. He setup new experiments, created new trials, and recorded data from human subjects using computer applications. Mauro was taught techniques used for analyzing data, discovering more about what happens after data is collected.
“My biggest take away from my undergraduate lab experience was seeing how a healthy and productive lab functions and produces quality research. There was a connection between everyone involved with the lab, the PI’s, researchers, and faculty,” says Mauro. This experience piqued Mauro’s interest in research and academia; a potential new direction for him. He built lasting relationships with Dr. Isbell and his former lab mates.
As part of his second major in theater, Mauro performed in drama groups. He also enjoyed being a peer mentor for Residence Life; advising first-year students and creating new programs for their community. Mauro learned that working with college-age students was very rewarding; he was motivated by their enthusiasm and creativity.
Mauro’s drive to have a positive impact on students’ lives led him to earn a master's degree in higher education at the University of Pennsylvania. Afterward, he worked in several college admissions offices while maintaining a consulting position with Signet Education. As a consultant, he helped high school students to research potential schools, write essays, and complete applications.
Now as Signet Education’s admissions coordinator, he oversees admissions services, matches students with consultants, and is involved in recruitment and training strategies. Mauro developed a passion for interacting with the college-age community and getting them excited about their education. The great experiences he had at UMass Amherst got him on the right track to a fulfilling career.
Mauro offers the following advice to recent graduates who are searching for their ideal job, “Take a close look at everything, it's not just about the nice organization or things that will fluff up your resume. Find out what quality of life you desire. When looking at a new position consider all the factors that will shape this. Think hard about what is important to you and how this will help you moving forward.”