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Mikayla Preete

Fourth year psychology student, Mikayla Preete

Unexpected career trajectory hits target

Benefits of scholarships for students like Mikayla Preete help with more than just finances

November 28, 2016 — 

Mikayla Preete has a natural desire to help others. This desire, combined with her innate curiosity led the fourth year psychology student to explore human-computer interactions. By merging her academic pursuits in psychology with interests in technology, Preete saw a huge opportunity.

“Coming out of high school, I didn’t have a clear picture of what I wanted to do,” says Preete. “I liked psychology and that it applied to lots of areas—law, medicine—and I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do but I recognized my attraction to the tech field. Being in a field where I get to help in the creation of something, that’s what appeals to me now.”

Midway through her degree, Preete switched from clinical to cognitive psychology – the science of how the brain works. The highly creative student also learned computer programming and this is where her interest in human-computer interactions began.

“I’m hoping to work in technology, in a user experience role, helping to design technology products that are best for the user and easy to use,” says Preete.

This career trajectory wasn’t easy for Preete to map out. Originally from Saskatchewan, even moving to another province and coming to a new school was challenging she says.

“When I first came to the U of M, it seemed so big. Once you start putting positive energy out, the opportunities keep coming,” says Preete.

“Student scholarships make even more of a difference than you think.”

In this case, positive energy was defined by Preete’s hard work and dedication, as well as the sense of community that surrounded her. While living in residence and in her academic pursuits, Preete used the opportunities in front of her to open doors, which in turn led to greater success. Preete has received the ongoing President’s Scholarship, UMSU Scholarship and the Susan Williams Scholarship, allowing her to keep focused at what’s ahead.

“Student scholarships make even more of a difference than you think. For me, it was the lessening the stress due to a financial burden. But it was also an increase in confidence,” says Preete. “It makes a huge difference to students and helps them achieve their greatest potential.”

With her first degree nearly under wraps, Preete already has plans for a second.

“I’d like to get another degree – in computer science – to marry my interests in psychology and technology with user experience and human interaction,” she says.

Preete wants to improve user experiences and human interaction with technology, such as smartphone apps and websites admitting that working in human-computer interaction isn’t traditionally seen as a helping profession but she’s able to help people in a way that speaks directly to her knowledge and skill.

“I can make a difference,” says Preete.

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4 comments on “Unexpected career trajectory hits target

  1. Henry Sahrmann

    Hello Mikayla.
    Congratulations on your success in studying Psychology.Good luck in finalizing your degree this year. Hopefully you will continue to study and obtain a degree in computer science, which is indeed a good marriage with any other degree, as it will open your world further. I trust that you will have further access to funds from the UoM. Good luck.

  2. Neil Edward Adams

    I am happy to hear this from you. I hope you will have a life time of always learning plus you will have an intellectual humility which allows you to have an open mind and spirit to learning new ideas and ways of doing something. Congratulations on your journey though life. Please keep learning always either by yourself or in a family and or in a relationship! 🙂

  3. Len Domaschuk

    Thanks Mikayia for taking the time to pen the note of appreciation. Your pursuits to date are a testament to your curiosity and your intent to help others. May they lead to a rich and rewarding career. I’m also pleased to hear that our scholarships have benefits beyond the financial.


  4. Patricia Bowslaugh

    Congratulations, Mikayla,
    Psychology was my focus also while studying at Brandon University. Tomorrow, my granddaughter
    is writing a term test in psychology at BU.
    I am proud of her and of you because the sciences
    of psychology are so applicable regardless of the
    field of your future career.
    I am sharing your letter with her. She will love to
    read about your goals.
    Good luck as you travel through the challenges currently being experienced at Uof M.

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