Michael Sanchez

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Michael Sanchez, MS is a 2nd-year Doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Project Assistant at the WCER’s Center for College-Workforce Transitions (CCWT). Originally from Jacksonville, NC, Michael received a B.A in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and worked in the Bay Area at Airbnb as a Recruiter prior to receiving his Master of Science in Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Drawing on his own personal experiences as a low-income first-generation college student and a corporate employee, Michael is passionate about clarifying the path from learning to employment for people from underrepresented backgrounds. During his tenure at Airbnb, Michael designed and led an apprenticeship program, Airbnb Connect, to provide members from underrepresented backgrounds a pathway to transition careers into software engineering. At the CCWT, Michael works on the mixed-methods College Internship Study; his research examines how social class impacts academic and career outcomes.

Michael’s overall research agenda focuses on investigating how structural forces related to power, privilege, and oppression impact vocational and psychological outcomes for individuals across the lifespan. Michael is interested in understanding social class as a cultural variable from various perspectives, including understanding the psychological impact of social class code-switching and social mobility as it relates to identity development. His research interests include subjective measures of social class (i.e., differential status identity), cultural mismatch theory, minority stress, stereotype threat, identity-based motivation, and the social class worldview model.

As a Psychologist-trainee, Michael works from an existential-phenomenological theoretical lens. Michael’s clinical interests include working with adult clients with complex trauma experiences and across domains of identity development (i.e., vocational identity, LGBTQ+), meaning-making, depression, anxiety, life design, career construction, and both individual and community mental health interventions.

On a more personal note, Michael enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, creative writing, hiking, rollerblading, traveling, listening to all types of music, running, and reading existential philosophy.

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