Deirdre Bundy, Psychology

Photograph of Deirdre Bundy

Deirdre Bundy

Psychology Alumni

Creativity has always played a role in Deirdre Bundy’s life. When she got an entry level job in the mental health field, she realized that the treatment center she was working for didn’t have a Human Resources department – so she created one for them.

“That was ‘organizational creativity,’” she explains. “But I didn’t know that at the time.”

She hadn’t really thought about what creativity meant, or what it was, or how it impacted her life, when she decided to get her MA in psychology and advance her career. She came to Saybrook because she wanted to work full time while going to graduate school, and a favorite undergraduate professor had told her about Saybrook’s humanistic approach to psychology.

“It was a good fit,” she says.

After she enrolled, she was intrigued to discover Saybrook’s creativity studies program – and that she could work with two of the leading experts in the field, Ruth Richards and Steve Pritzker.

“I started to look into it, and I looked at the opportunity of working with Ruth and Steve, and the more I looked into the literature and what it means, the more it sparked my interest,” Deirdre says. “It was amazing.”

Her thesis examined the way “20-something” has become a new stage of life in our culture, a unique period between adolescence and adulthood. “There’s not much literature on this new stage of life, although a lot of popular accounts these days are talking about a ‘quarter life crisis,’” she says. People are finding new ways to define their lives – and while some people are just flowing down stream, others are doing it with great creativity.

After graduating, Deirdre decided she wanted to work with kids looking for healthy ways to transition into their 20-somethings. She put her own creativity to use again, co-founding the “Little Ladies Sports Club” – a mentoring service for adolescent girls that combines one-on-one interactions with physical activities.

“I was at a crossroads in my life, and I was very ready to break out of the 9 to 5 work day and create my own schedule,” she remembers. “My studies at Saybrook played a huge part in creating my business. I felt that I’d really been able to hone my ability to look at a situation or task from several different (and creative) angles. I also learned that all of these different ways are important and valuable to making something cohesive, like a mentoring program, possible.”

She’ll use her psychology degree to the fullest to support the girls in her program – and that will include teaching them to better understand, and value, their own creative impulses. Not just the artistic kind, but the kind that can lead someone to have better relationships, start a business, or create a human resources office after seeing the need.

“There’s a common misperception that people either are or aren’t creative, and most people think that they aren’t,” Deirdre says. “But in fact, whether it’s finding a new way to work or making a sandwich, creativity is everywhere in our lives, and if we can learn to focus on that, anything’s possible. Saybrook’s program taught me that creativity is not only an academic discipline, with research and a whole field dedicated to it, but an everyday experience as well.”