Diving Into the Academically Unknown: Conor Byrnes Fall ’13

Conor Byrnes used his academic experience to understand Danish culture and even his own American roots. Find out why this Academic Excellence Award winner suggests taking Psychology at DIS!

conor_academic excellenceName: Conor Byrnes
Home University:
University of Colorado at Boulder
Academic Program:

DIS: What influenced your decision to choose your particular DIS academic program and why did you choose it?

Conor: I choose the Psychology program, not only because it is my major at my home university, but also because of the unique diversity of classes offered by DIS. All three psychology classes which I chose were not offered at my home university.

photoDIS: What do you want to do in your future and after graduation? How have you been affected by your academic program in a way that changed your career path or perspective?

Conor: After graduating I intend on pursuing further education in psychology, in order to receive my doctorate. I’m currently working on my graduate school payment options, and am seriously considering the Peace Corps as a route to achieve that.

I am fortunate to have had courses and teachers in Copenhagen that strongly helped me shape my aims for the future. My Positive Psychology course especially inspired me, showing a system for maximizing the human potential. This field is quite young and open and I hope to develop and implement some of the theory further in my own work.

DIS showed me, more importantly than anything, that there are alternative modes of living and thinking that are possibly more healthy and successful than American norms, which often go unchallenged. Field studies showed how egalitarian business principles and nonpartisan political activity offered different possibilities and seemed to be more mentally healthy for those involved.

conor bDIS: What would you recommend future students in your program do to maximize their experience?

Conor: To any student wanting to make the most out of their academic experience, I would recommend that you choose courses that truly intrigue, and dare I say: inspire. Too often, it seems, students are so career oriented that they miss opportunities to find topics that really make them feel and think. So I would recommend seriously considering the interesting course variety DIS offers, not just taking on the same classes as you would at your home university.

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