BBS Senior Launch Features Advice from Alumnus

Sep. 15, 2011

The School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences hosted its annual Senior Launch event Wednesday in the McDermott Suite. BBS seniors visited with faculty members and listened to advice from a successful  alumnus, Buhrmester Rising Star Award recipient Konstantin Parkhomenko. Now working as an attorney, Parkhomenko offered seniors these insights regarding his time at UT Dallas and what he has learned since graduation.

What degree did you earn at UT Dallas?

I earned a BA in psychology. I also hold a doctor of jurisprudence degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and a master of the laws degree in environmental law from UCLA Law School.

What is your current position?

I work as an attorney in the civil litigation division of the Brockett McNeel law firm, which is based out of Midland. Brockett McNeel is, by far, the best law firm in West Texas. OK, I may be a bit biased. …

How did UT Dallas help you in your career?

UT Dallas paved the way to my future career. My academic experience at UT Dallas not only prepared me for law school, but also allowed me to receive a full scholarship at the JD level; this, in turn, gave me the means to pursue an even higher level of legal education - the mastery of the laws. Furthermore, my psychology background is very useful in negotiations and in the litigation context in general.

What did you enjoy most about your time at BBS?

Every day was something special. I loved learning about psychology, and the sheer diversity and depth of the classes offered (such as cognitive science, psychology of music, animal communication) blew me away.

What experiences, outside the classroom, should ambitious students seek out?
That would depend on what said students seek to achieve in their future. However, I think that participating in extracurricular activities, such as the chess or debate teams, volunteering with non-profit groups, and/or interning or working for companies or organizations that interest them during the summers, or even during the school year itself, would not be a bad idea. Of course, even the most ambitious and intelligent students would do well to remember that, between academics and extracurricular activities, the classroom must always come first.

Did UT Dallas prepare you well to pursue your professional goals?
I know it has.

What advice would you give to seniors or other students of UT Dallas?
Ask yourselves where you want to be in one, five and 10 years. It's OK to have more than one possible plan in mind. Then figure out what you need to do in order to have a good chance of achieving those objectives. After you do that, ask yourselves if the journey is worth the destination. If it is, then great - you can make a schedule and start going after those goals. If it isn't, you need to re-evaluate your long-term goals and start the process over again. I know this advice sounds obvious, but believe me, the realization that law school or medical school is not really for you will be much more useful before the middle of your third year at said school. Knowing what you want to do with your life may take a little research, but figuring it out in a systematic manner can be much better than winging it.


Media Contact: Emily Martinez, UT Dallas, (214) 905-3049, emily.martinez@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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Konstantin Parkhomenko

Konstantin Parkhomenko followed the undergraduate psychology degree he earned at UT Dallas with doctor of jurisprudence degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and a master of the laws degree in environmental law from UCLA Law School.

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