Equipped with a juris doctorate, Dinyar Mehta had spent years climbing the ladder at a major Twin Cities-based corporation when he felt he needed to make a career change.
Rather than going to a competitor for a new job title and a little more money, he decided to look beyond the corporate world.
“After I decided to change, I simply asked friends, family, and colleagues one question: How does my presence make your life better?” Mehta said. “When they would respond, it always came back to three things: You motivate me, you inspire me, and you help me heal. So I knew that’s what I needed to do.”
Those answers helped Mehta make the decision to go back to graduate school and enroll in Saint Mary’s M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy program. With his degree, Mehta became a staff clinician at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, where he works in the STOP Violence Program, which provides services to members of the LGBT community who are experiencing intimate partner violence.
At the time Mehta was looking at graduate schools, he said he lived extremely close to Saint Mary’s Minneapolis Campus; however, proximity did not play a role in his decision.
“Saint Mary’s afforded me a top-notch, accredited program for significantly less than what I would have paid for if I had returned to California to receive my degree,” he said. “And I really resonated with the Lasallian commitment to a high-quality education that I absolutely received from start to finish.”
He also says he felt the community at Saint Mary’s was invested in his education even before he applied. At the time, Metha was torn between obtaining an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy or a Doctorate of Psychology in Counseling. Knowing this, the admissions office had him meet one-on-one with Samantha Zaid, the program director for the Marriage and Family Therapy program.
“Samantha sat down to meet with me to help me understand the difference between the two and whether they aligned with my way of thinking about the world of psychology and therapy,” he said. “She really helped me make the right choice for me, between the two programs. And this was before I even formally applied, so that really spoke to me because that lets me know they were invested in my education, regardless of where I applied.”
And that investment in his education, and every other student’s education, is something that Mehta says makes Saint Mary’s Marriage and Family Therapy program stand out.
“At Saint Mary’s, there is a commitment to intellectual rigor and inquiry,” Mehta said. “And there was a caring community that believed in us, and that believed in me so that I could be the best student and have the potential to have the best career I could have.”
Thriving at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Mehta has goals to expand his practice in California, and he expresses great gratitude to Saint Mary’s for preparing him to do so.
“When I got out to California, I was eminently prepared for my licensure exam. And now, I’m looking to open my own practice as well,” he said. “And I could not have done it without Saint Mary’s. My education made me feel so confident. I chose Saint Mary’s and I made the best decision.”