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March 23, 2023

Why I-O Practitioners are Choosing to Work at System-3

Julia and Claudie are two recent graduates of the I-O (Industrial Organizational) Psychology Master’s program at the University of Guelph. Learn why they joined System-3 and how I-O practitioners can make an impact in HR tech.

Why I-O Practitioners are Choosing to Work at System-3

Julia and Claudie are two recent graduates of the I-O (Industrial Organizational) Psychology Master’s program at the University of Guelph. Both joined System-3 while finishing their graduate theses and started full-time after successful master defenses. Both part of the I-O Science team, Julia currently works as our Implementation Associate and Claudie as our Research and Data Associate. Learn why they joined System-3 and how I-O practitioners can make an impact in HR tech.

Why did you pursue a career in I-O Psychology?

  • Julia: It only took one week of an undergraduate I-O Psychology course for me to decide this was the field for me. This field allows me to apply my natural curiosities surrounding problem solving and examine the “why” surrounding organizational dynamics. Pursuing a career in I-O Psychology is incredibly exciting as there are many avenues of application and this science can be most effective and at times, necessary, when combined with other fields, especially technology and talent management.  
  • Claudie: People spend a lot of their time working. Some estimates go as high as suggesting that, on average, we spend 90,000 hours to roughly one third of our waking lives at work. It’s not surprising, then, that research shows that work shapes so many aspects of our lives – from where we live and who we interact with all the way to our sense of self, health, well-being, and quality of life. As someone fascinated by psychology and human behaviour, I felt like this field offered a unique opportunity to continue to learn more about these areas every day while making what I think is an important and meaningful contribution with my career: to help make work more than just a job, and in a good way.

Why did you choose to work at System-3?

  • Julia: Being a recent I-O graduate, it was very important for me to transition into a workplace that fuels my passion for learning and strongly prioritizes I-O science. System-3 is a great environment to readily apply my knowledge of I-O practices and leadership within the context of executive-based simulation technology. As well, one of the main reasons I chose to work at System-3 was based on the words from our Head of I-O Science, Marian Pitel, “System-3 values I-O voices from the start to the finish line”, describing how I-O science is embedded into each stage of the product; from the creation of the simulation all the way to the insights shared with the client.” This emphasis on I-O science was key to me.  
  • Claudie: So many reasons went into it! First, I-O science can be applied in so many interesting and impactful ways in the HR tech space. It’s truly an area where I-O practitioners can apply research in practice to make meaningful contributions. The second reason was the people. Having worked with our Head of I-O science, Marian, in the past, I knew how phenomenal she was at creating a culture where everyone’s voices feel heard, important, and respected and where I-O science is valued and used to inform decisions. Marian’s also been recognized for creating a culture of rigor, which is one of the things I appreciate the most about working on her team. I also feel so lucky to have a chance to work with the two other brilliant I-O practitioners on our team, Alex and Julia, every day. Third, I felt that System-3's simulation was one of a kind in terms of how immersive, job relevant, and engaging it is, and that it serves an important purpose. Lastly, I was really excited about the opportunity to apply research in practice and continue to use and build my data, statistics, and technical skills through this role.  

Can you describe your role at System-3?

  • Julia: As an Implementation Associate, I work within the I-O Science team to apply best practices to research initiatives, analytics, simulation improvements and anything I-O! Unique to my role, I also work closely with Gilson Tori on our Customer Success processes. This role is important to me, as I work just as closely with the client as I work with the data. Being embedded within leadership research and academia for the past 7 years, it is incredibly fulfilling to see the application of I-O Science and the tangible impact on organizations every day.
  • Claudie: As a Research and Data Associate in the I-O Science team, I help support our research and data initiatives. This could be anything from developing and formalizing our psychometrics program and technical manual to scoping out research projects, developing scripts to clean and analyze data, performing statistical analyses, working with contractors and our Tech team, figuring out how to execute requests and carrying them out, and more! On a typical week, I do a lot of work in R and Excel, read scientific articles, and work on translating results of analyses in an accessible way. I’m also really excited to have a chance to get more familiar with other tools and keep building my technical skills in the future!

What’s one thing you learned while working at System-3?

  • Julia: One of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt is that start-ups move quickly. While this took a moment to adjust to, I realized that this is one reason start-ups, and System-3 specifically, can be so fulfilling. As a recent graduate who is passionate about solving problems, constantly hearing “how do we put this into action” and “let’s make this happen” is music to my ears. Working in such a dynamic environment leads to more fulfilling work and keeps me striving towards constant improvements we can make as a company. It also helps that the rest of our team is full of hardworking go-getters, so we’re all driven towards continuous iteration and improvement of the product.
  • Claudie: Something that's been really interesting to learn more about is the variety of ways there always are of looking at a particular problem. For almost every decision, there’s the IO science lens, but also the business and marketing perspectives, the client success position, the legal standpoint, and the product and technology considerations – and all of these have to be integrated to maximize success and impact. While I’m informed about the IO science side of things with my background, it’s been fascinating to hear the perspectives and considerations other team members bring to the table. I think the broader team’s ability to integrate and implement these viewpoints is something that makes System-3 really unique.

What are you most excited about your impact/in the future working at system 3?

  • Julia: I’ve been very excited and inspired about the growth of our product, team, and company goals. We’re a growing team and it’s been fulfilling to learn from each person, and work together towards constant improvements of our product. The most exciting thing for me is to be able to look back and see the progress we’ve made surrounding the science of the product as well as the ever-growing impact on clients.
  • Claudie: There are so many exciting research projects coming up in the pipeline! For example, we’ve recently developed a psychometrics program and have plans to expand our validation efforts in the future. We’re also planning to incorporate machine learning and natural language processing in our simulation. I think the product is really going to continue to develop on the I-O front and I’m so excited to be a part of that.