Alumni Profile- Rob Whalen, DTLA MAP Cohort
Rob Whalen is a recent graduate of the Antioch downtown LA cohort of the MA in Clinical Psychology program. He began the program in the fall of 2016 and was able to care for his infant/ toddler during the days and take all of his classes in the evenings when his partner was able to take over at home. “It was an opportunity I never expected to have in life,” he wrote in an email, “and I feel so lucky to have been able to experience it. I’m grateful that the AULA downtown cohort allowed for me the chance to do a graduate program with a schedule that fit my life.”
What is your education/ career background?
I received a bachelor’s degree in music and spent a decade in the music industry, making some music and helping others to make their music.
Tell me a bit about your program and your experience in the downtown LA cohort.
I chose the downtown cohort because it best fit my schedule and commute. I was in the first downtown cohort and I couldn’t be more grateful that it was available to me. Having a cohort has meant a great deal to me because of the support I received and the friendships that I have made as a result of it. Growing in a cohort can offer something akin to a familial experience, with all the love and encouragement that comes with it (and maybe a dash of family-like dysfunction). I have to say that the one thing that I loved about my experience in classes was hearing and learning from all of the varied life experiences of my fellow classmates. It was always incredibly educational for me, and very often inspiring to be a part of their sharing. There is so much that we can’t know or understand until we’re willing to listen to others and allow their stories and experiences to penetrate our individual perspectives, worldviews, and biases. That simple educational aspect alone has already been such an asset to my budding clinical experience.
What drew you to the program?
I decided to attend Antioch University after weighing a lot of options that are out there, and finding that I wanted an academic experience at an institution that focuses on clinical work, and that attempts to really instill the importance of inclusion, affirmation, and social justice.
Do you have ideas about what you’d like to do/ accomplish after your time at Antioch?
Honestly, I just love being in the room with people who have a desire to better themselves and their life situations, regardless of how they currently feel about themselves or their troubles. It can be difficult, but it’s such a fulfilling endeavor. I’m not married to any particular population or specific issue, so no matter where I end up I look forward to helping and learning and continuing to grow, as a clinician and as a human being.
photo credit: Amelia Lyon