Reflections on Coming Full Circle

INTRODUCTION | MRG was started in 1983 by Jim Mahoney, Tom Rand and Jim Lomac. Tom Rand was a dynamic, insightful psychologist who played a major role in helping many individuals and organizations in their journeys to succeed. Tom passed away far too early, in 2010. At the time his son, Drew Rand, was working on his PhD in IO Psychology.  I am delighted to share that after several years of work experience in both consulting and in an internal HR role in a large organization, Drew is now a member of the MRG team in the role of consulting psychologist. He is, unsurprisingly, fitting seamlessly into the MRG team and his contributions are already enhancing the work we do. 

– Tricia Naddaff, President, MRG

I walked into a 19th century home a few weeks back, which had been renovated into an office building, and it immediately hit me, “Wow. This feels like the MRG of old.” Multiple floors, each with a hallway, all connected via an enormous wrapping staircase. A classic Victorian home that in so many ways reminded me of 43 Deering Street, MRG’s home during my childhood, a place I spent many a day. My father would often bring my sister and me in on Saturdays, and while he did whatever it was that he did, we’d keep ourselves occupied by temporarily residing in separate offices, “working.” We had some business; I’m not sure exactly what it was, but we certainly shuffled a lot of paper around and made a lot of phone calls. We loved the phones…loved them. I’m positive we ruined many Monday mornings with the chaos we caused in these offices. I remember the MRG conferences at Black Point Inn and even in Munich, which was my first adventure over the pond when I was quite young. I remember the lobster bakes out on House Island. I adored my father and was lucky enough to have a view into his professional life.

Yet, even with all the time I spent at MRG as a young boy, I never really knew what he did for a living. I knew I thought it was amazing and the fact that he worked in this old Victorian home was incredible, but in terms of what he actually did? No idea. Well, not no idea, I knew it had something to do with dots. A lot of dots. It wasn’t until high school that I began to form a semblance of an idea of what his profession was. But what was more compelling to me was him, and it goes without saying that he, and my time at MRG throughout my childhood, had a profound impact on me.

As I entered college, I wanted to pursue other interests, including computer science, which I selected as my major. This lasted all of one trimester, realizing I was horrible at writing code. During my second trimester, I took my first psychology class and was hooked. As I was wrapping up my undergraduate tenure, it was my intention to continue my education, but something didn’t feel right. I’ll never forgot, I was studying for graduate college entrance exams, was in my second day of studying, and dropped my pencil. “What are you doing?” I asked myself. “You don’t know that you love this.” I felt I needed to forge my own path; I/O sort of felt like a backup plan. And so I went to work, first as a legal assistant for a prominent law firm and then into finance for a period of time. This turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I learned an immense amount about myself, the world of work, and when I entered graduate school three years later, I did so without reservation; knowing it was exactly what I wanted to do. My graduate education took me to Chicago and I earned my Ph.D. in 2017.

My path back to MRG has been a circuitous one, and for a period of time, something I didn’t believe was in the cards. Over the course of many years, years containing many life-changing events, my family and I ended up back in Maine. While this may have seemed like the opportune time for me to officially unite with MRG, the timing wasn’t right for either party. This provided me with an amazing opportunity to work internally for some years and gain, in my perspective, invaluable experience. Then one day, Tricia called me, and the prospect of a position at MRG for me, the thing that had seemed to go in and out of possibility many times over the previous year’s became quite concrete, quite quickly. And I was thrilled.

I have recently been reflecting on the past decade of my life and it has included many transitions, transitions with gravitas: marriage, children, geographic, professional, and other personal ups and downs. All of these have come with their challenges, but also their supreme brilliance. I expect nothing less with the current transition and although it’s only been a couple of months, I can already feel it happening. As my re-entry into MRG progresses, I look forward to sharing my experiences and reflections. It promises to be a fun ride.

This post is the first in a series of posts from Drew, reflecting on his (re-)entry to MRG. Follow MRG on LinkedIn and Twitter for future posts.

About the author

Drew is MRG's resident I/O psychologist. When not at MRG, he's either with his family (most likely) or in his workshop (less likely). His stack of unread books is commendable.

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Carol Ryan Ertz
Carol Ryan Ertz
6 years ago

Drew, Welcome ‘home’! For those of us blessed to know and work with both you and your father, your new role at MRG is truly a reinforcement of the ‘full circle’ that delightfully occurs in life. Enjoy the ride!!!

6 years ago

What kind words, Carol. Thank you so much! I hope you our paths cross again soon!

Mike Strout
5 years ago

Drew, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. I fondly remember the “offices” on Deering Street – especially one particular session with Jim Mahoney going over a Rorschach test. By the end of it, I wasn’t sure if I was crazy or if he was but I was certain one of us was!! Anyway, that moment was the foundation for a career in which I worked with both Dr. Mahoney and your Dad (and Jim Lomac!) as both an individual and as the head of HR for a large company. The two of them, and now their… Read more »

5 years ago
Reply to  Mike Strout

Thank you for the kind words, Mike! The comment on the Rorschach test is amazing and my father would have LOVED it. He had some really great stories about Jim M and the Rorschach.