How a conference made a career

By Jessica Alvarez

How a conference made a career

By Jessica Alvarez
Graduate Teaching Assistant Laurie Peebles recalls her time at the Southeastern Regional American Music Therapy Association Conference back home in Columbia, South Carolina, and networking her way to a tenure position.

Countless networking opportunities have led to business card exchanges, professional small talk, endless float:right;handshakes and smiles. But the ultimate outcome for many is to land a job offer. For Graduate Teaching Assistant Laurie Peebles, this became a reality. While attending the Southeastern Regional American Music Therapy Association Conference in her hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, Laurie networked her way into a tenure track faculty position. Laurie stated, "Although I never saw getting employed in such a surreal manner, I am certainly grateful that I attended." 

As a recipient of a Graduate Student Travel Scholarship Award from the University of Miami Graduate School, Laurie was able to take her music therapy research to South Carolina and present two posters on her doctoral research. As a conference participant, Laurie was able to hear many professional perspectives on types of music therapy research. Laurie met with select individuals that prompted an informal interview. Two weeks and just one phone call later, Laurie was on the campus of Georgia College and State University. She had a formal interview and was later offered the position of Assistant Professor of Music Therapy where she would soon be teaching undergraduate and graduate students.

Laurie’s research focuses on the prevalence of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in a music therapy student sample. Specifically, Laurie used a survey to examine the relationship between personality type and the collaborative learning process in music therapy practica. Her work ethic and professionalism are a few of the many reasons that landed Laurie in her new tenure position.

The next deadline for the Graduate Student Travel Scholarship is November 15, 2019. To learn more about the scholarship and apply, click here.