Passion For Helping People Drives Josh Burg
The 1970 Beatles love song “The Long and Winding Road” speaks of just that — a twisting, sometimes arduous journey that seems to have no end. But for Josh Burg, a love affair with people and helping them with life’s problems has at long last brought him to the finish line.
Burg will collect his doctoral degree, completed at DU’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology, at summer Commencement ceremonies on Aug. 19. “It’s a little surreal,” he says. “It’s actually the end of five years of grueling work.”
Not that the work is about to end. Burg next begins a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Colorado-Boulder, where he’ll do psychological assessments.
He and wife Christina (also graduating from DU with the same degree) credit the University of Denver with solidly preparing them for their careers.
“I just remember … in these group interviews with other students from different programs, I feel like I’m way better prepared for this than [they] are,” Burg says.
“I know when my wife and I came out here five years ago to interview, we were just blown away by the staff here at the GSPP. We were like, ‘Wow. We want to be here because this is a faculty that is just so smart. But they also like each other, and they work well together,’ and that really stayed true throughout the five years. The quality of education I got here … was just amazing.
“I like people, so having a job where I just sit and talk with people, in the technology age that we’re in, is a real privilege.”
Burg says working with students in DU’s Health and Counseling Center has been particularly rewarding. “The diversity of students here on campus is really cool. You get a lot of different things; you’re never bored. There’s always someone to help.
“I think students are really fun to work with because they’re in this stage of their life where they’re developing and changing and discovering themselves, so they’re ready to change. When you work with some older people, they can be a little more set in their ways. This is such a transitional period in students’ lives, and it’s really cool to see how just a little help can put them on a different path, and they can feel a lot better. So that’s really rewarding.”
And for once, Burg says, he’s looking forward to a commencement ceremony.
“I hate graduations, and I never want to walk, and my family makes me walk every time. I [initially] felt that way about this one too, but now I want to walk. This is the last time I’ll ever walk in a graduation; there’s no more degrees. This is it. I’m done, and I think it’s going to feel pretty good. To have my family here, and to be able to walk across the stage with my wife, it’s going to be awesome.”
For Burg, stepping off the long and winding educational road brings the promise of a bright career. He’s looking straight ahead.