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BW alumnus charts path from 'undecided' major to successful research administrator

Once undecided as an undergrad, Kyle Kinney's willingness to explore led him to blend a passion for research and interest in technology into a multifaceted role after college.

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Kyle Kinney '21 (back row, second from left) with colleagues from Temple University at their annual team celebration.

Almost one in 10 first-year students at Baldwin Wallace University arrive on campus "undecided" on a major.

That's how Kyle Kinney '21 began his undergraduate studies at BW following his graduation from Westlake High School in 2018. Unsure of his interests, he explored sociology, pre-med and computer science options before deciding on a psychology major.

"I think it is perfectly acceptable to shop around early on in your college career," Kinney says. "There is a lot out there, and expecting yourself to know exactly what you want first semester of college is a high bar."

After earning his bachelor's degree in 2021, Kinney landed a job as a research coordinator at Temple University's psychology department. This further solidified his research interest.

New Challenges Ahead

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Kyle Kinney '21

Seeking new challenges and professional growth, Kinney recently began a role as a research administrator at the University of Pennsylvania's NewCourtland Center. He manages resources for unpaid caregivers and supports nursing research initiatives.

At the same time, Kinney enrolled in Penn's tech-focused Master's in Computer and Information Technology program to expand his skill set. He aims to combine his psychology background with new technical abilities to create positive impacts.

"My Psychology degree at BW gave me the background I need to be successful at the work I do today," Kinney explains. "Specifically, my capstone course working at a nonprofit gave me the experience I needed to be confident in myself in a people-serving career.

Keeping An Open Mind

Reflecting on his undergrad experience, Kinney advises keeping an open mind when selecting a major.  "Keeping an open mind to what is out there before and after graduation can lead you far. I never thought I would be working in a Research Center at an esteemed university, but here I am! It is a wonderful experience, and learning to enjoy the ride can save you some headaches."

Kinney's career journey shows that deciding on a career path isn't always straightforward. BW grads often pivot to exciting new directions by exploiting opportunities that combine capabilities and interests. Kinney proves that an undeclared major early on doesn't prevent long-term success and fulfillment.

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