Loyola University Maryland


How My Master's in Psychology Helped Me Start My Dream Career

by Jordan Goodman, LCPC

Im not your typical student. I never have been, and I never will be, either. And every day, I thank my professors and mentors at Loyola for giving me the tools and support to launch my dream career(s).

I identify primarily as a musician—a drummer specifically. During my college years, I was realizing my dreams as a performer and manager of a touring rock band. But as much as I loved it, I felt I needed to pursue a career that offered more security for the future. So as an undergrad, I learned business in the band and psychology in class, and then came to Loyola for my M.S. in Clinical Psychology.

For Love of Music

It didnt take me long to discover research that proved the therapeutic effects of drumming—decreased stress, feelings of well-being, and improved immune function.  From then on I looked for every opportunity to combine my passion and skill set of drumming with psychology and counseling. I knew that if I didnt, I wouldnt feel fully myself and would risk not feeling alive in my work.

It was a very narrow professional focus, and I could feel some hesitation from my parents and others who were concerned whether I could support myself with this career. I give Loyola much credit for supporting my interests and offering a path forward. For example, when taking a class in family therapy, my final project was family therapy group drumming. I was able to explore music-based interventions in many ways.

During my time at Loyola, I had two internships as well. I worked with kids with severe emotional and behavioral issues at an elementary school in the Pimlico/Park Heights neighborhood of Baltimore City and a middle school in Harford County. At both schools, drumming was my primary method of counseling and therapy.

From there, I started my own company called Beatwell, through which I share rhythm-based programs with all populations for different outcomes. I do corporate team-building and stress reduction, work with kids for leadership development, lead mindfulness meditation groups, and more. If you name a population, Ive worked with them: Holocaust survivors, young adults with Down syndrome, medical professionals, adults with schizophrenia, etc.

I also work with a private psychotherapy practice weekly. Loyola’s Master's in Clinical Psychology prepared me to become a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with a full 60 credit load, which allowed me to sit for a state licensure exam (not all master’s programs are so comprehensive). This lets graduates become a psychotherapist, start a psychology practice, or even go on to a PhD or PsyD Program as well.

Connection and Storytelling

But my experiences don’t end there. Yes, Im a psychotherapist with an emphasis on music-based interventions, but Im also a performer, a podcaster, and a marketer, too.

I still perform regularly in the rock band, Raindeer. While it’s gratifying to play festivals, hear your music on the radio, and travel out-of-state…for me it’s now for the fun of it.

I have a podcast called Chocolate Croissants that I host with my friend Matt Halpern, a world-renowned drummer, and my brother Justin Goodman, a dietetics student, personal trainer, and competitive weightlifter. We have tens of thousands of listeners in over 140 countries, tuning in to hear us chat about creative entrepreneurship and self-improvement. Of everything I do, I think podcasting is the most effective way to meaningfully connect at scale with people all over the world.

On top of all that, I started another dream job focused on branding and marketing for Ring of Honor, the #2 pro wrestling company in North America. While this may seem incongruent from an outsider’s perspective, its all the same to me.

From musical performance to Beatwell groups to pro wrestling, its all about connecting emotionally with an audience through storytelling.

Giving Back

The foundation for the diversity of my work life, and all the different ways Im able to connect with and help others, was formed at Loyola, where the faculty treated me as an individual, supported my needs, and encouraged me to realize my vision. For anyone considering a career in psychology, I recommend you check out the programs admissions data and degree outcomes to see if its a good fit for you.

I still come back every year to speak to Loyola students and share my story about how I made the most of my time and investment there. And I take my message even further—this year, I did the keynote address for the Maryland Psychological Association for Graduate Students (MPAGS), too.

I know that Im unique in the ways Ive built my career, but I hope it inspires others who might be fearful of failing or being judged. Because what makes me so different? If I can do it, I know others can do it, too.

Knekiya Harper


Knekiya says she found everything she wanted at Loyola: the training to become a mental health therapist, hands-on counseling experience, and the chance to be a mentor