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Deirdre Bundy - Creative Career Profile

Deirdre Bundy
Deirdre Bundy, MA in Psychology
Specialization in Creativity Studies at
Saybrook University

One of the most important lessons Deirdre Bundy learned while working on her master’s degree at Saybrook University was how creativity affects every aspect of an individual’s life - from making coffee to landing in the ideal profession.

In fact, studying the science of creativity changed Bundy’s life, showing her that everyone is creative, and that its power transforms the most mundane activities into something worthwhile.

One of her most inspiring Saybrook professors, Dr. Ruth Richards, who holds both an M.D., and a PhD in psychology, writes and researches on “everyday creativity.”

It was Richards who showed Bundy the power of creativity, that regardless of the activity, from cooking (yes, even making coffee) to driving to work in a different way, creativity adds meaning to all of life.

Saybrook’s professors also taught Bundy how to think in ways that allow her to find “out-of-the-box” solutions for some of life’s toughest questions, such as discovering one’s purpose in life.

Earning her master’s degree in psychology with a creativity studies specialization led Bundy into a career that she describes as perfectly combining all her passions, an entrepreneurial career that she had never before considered.

In the summer of 2011, AllPsychologyCareers.com caught up with Bundy as a moving truck was pulling out of her driveway in San Diego, heading toward her new home – and business opportunity – in San Francisco.

Bundy was moving to become a Playball franchise owner (see Playball San Francisco), a sports and skills movement program for preschool children (see also Childhood Developmental Psychology). And she was taking another business she had created along with her, a business also geared toward helping others, called Little Ladies Sports Club. That business, started with a friend, provides mentoring to adolescent girls in active, sports-themed contexts.

Both businesses combine Bundy’s love of helping others, her love of sports and being outdoors, and her love of employing creativity in every pursuit, into a challenging yet stimulating career.

When starting the master’s program, however, Bundy had no idea that she would end up as a business owner.

“Creativity played a big part in that decision,” Bundy said laughing, referring to becoming an entrepreneur.

When she decided to go to graduate school, Bundy thought that a PhD or PsyD in psychology might lead her into a counseling career. Yet the master’s program at Saybrook appealed to her because as a double major in psychology and art (photography emphasis) at University of California, Santa Cruz, Bundy was intrigued with a degree that offered classes in two areas of study that gave her life its fervor.

After graduating in 2006 from UCSC, she worked at Passages, a drug and rehabilitation facility in Malibu, California. It was while working at Passages that she decided to go to graduate school at Saybrook, an online/partial residency program that allowed her to continue working full time while attending school. And the master’s degree in psychology seemed like a prudent first step before deciding on a doctorate.

Once in the program, Bundy started to realign her career goals of working toward a doctorate, seeing that the degree could provide her with the direction she needed for a number of other possible careers.

“The program showed me that creativity is everywhere and everyone has it. It really built up my confidence because it showed me that everything I’m doing and love can be intermingled and synthesized into a more self-directed career.”

In addition to art and psychology interests, Bundy runs marathons and plays soccer, two other passions that she wanted to somehow integrate into her professional life. Whereas others might look at all these interests and not see a cohesive way to combine them into a career, someone like Bundy who studied the psychology of creativity (see Psychology of Creativity) knew exactly how to tackle the problem of deciding her future.

“I learned to question everything in a positive way. If I find a roadblock or something that isn’t working for me, Saybrook taught me how to look at the problem differently.”

And looking at problems differently became a life-changing skill she put to good use while working at Passages. She and a coworker were starting to feel discouraged with pay and job cuts taking place, as well as the 9-to-5 grind.

The friend had a passion for working with teenage girls, and Bundy wanted to integrate her love of sports and being outside with helping girls become active, moving them off of couches and away from computers.

After spending a considerable amount of time brainstorming, they came up with a mentoring program and business called Little Ladies Sports Club (LLSC).

Bundy and her business partner define LLSC as “activity based mentoring for adolescent girls.” They work individually with the girls, letting them decide on an activity such as ice skating, basketball, or soccer. They spend time together talking during breaks from the physical activity. This gives the girls a chance to talk about anything they want as well.

“It’s ‘counseling-esque,’ not hard core therapy, but mentoring. It gives the girls strong role models as well as gets them active and outside,” Bundy said.

After leaving Passages, Bundy and her partner continued to build LLSC, and Bundy took a coaching job at Playball in San Diego, which is where she learned about the unique franchise.

Playball teaches emotional, social, and cognitive development skills while developing a young child’s physical skills. The emphasis is not on teaching young children the rules of game play, but on body movement skills, such as how to move their feet to kick or move a ball. While developing physically, the children learn social skills, values, and norms. They learn how to pay attention and focus on a task, and they receive positive encouragement from the smallest of achievements – increasing their self-confidence and self-esteem.

Bundy said the classes are taught in an organized and structured manner in 30-to-45 minute increments, yet there’s a lot of room for creativity. She uses imagery, and fun equipment for teaching, and provides lots of flexibility for exploration.

When her boyfriend was accepted into a medical residency program in Northern California, Bundy said it was her opportunity to buy her own Playball franchise there. And she sees a perfect fit with Little Ladies Sports Club.

After getting Playball up and running in San Francisco, she knows that some of the preschool children will have families with older children, and she can market LLSC through her Playball franchise. It’s another perfect synthesis for Bundy, who seems to have limitless enthusiasm and energy.

Two attributes that seem necessary for prospective entrepreneurs, along with a healthy dose of creativity.

Bundy says in Saybrook’s creativity classes, the professors talk all the time about the four P’s of creativity: product, process, place, and personality. (For more information on the four – or six – P’s of creativity, see Psychology of Creativity.) Her two favorite P’s are process and product.

She loves being busy and getting a business ready to go - the marketing to parents and teachers that will have to take place in order to make Playball a success. Even if it means being up to 2 a.m. every night, she would rather work through the “process” of getting her business started than sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, and work for a boss that might not be the nicest person in the world.

Once she works hard and gets her business started, then she knows she will have a “product” to show for it, and that’s extremely satisfying. Not to mention the creativity she will use to solve all the hitches and road bumps that arise along the way.

And to keep her up late working on those marketing plans, Bundy will have her coffee – creatively brewed and savored.

For more information on degree programs that provide classes, degrees, and certificates in psychology and creativity studies, contact schools with these offerings. Students who study creative thinking often use their expanded cognitive knowledge to discover exciting, highly imaginative career opportunities.

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