Psychology Work Experience to Working Psychologist
After graduating in Psychology, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do in terms of my career but I did know I wanted to travel and that I wanted to utilise my degree to work with children in the future. I was initially introduced to ‘SLV.GLOBAL’ in my first year at the University of Nottingham when I attended one of their information talks for psychology students. I was really keen to get involved but didn’t feel brave enough to go on my own and therefore never ended up committing. Over the summer, I plucked up the courage and signed myself up to the SLV.GLOBAL Advanced Placement for the upcoming October as I realised it would allow me to travel, gain experience with children and give me time to think about my career path whilst doing something valuable!
I finally volunteered in Sri Lanka from October to December and I am so glad I got to experience first-hand all of the amazing things discussed in that first year talk. However it is now, 7 months after I returned from my Sri Lankan family and home in Kotte, that I have decided to write this blog. I always knew SLV.GLOBAL would add value to my CV – but only now do I realise how valuable the whole experience was.
My enthusiasm and enjoyment at projects made me realise I want to use my skills, knowledge and experience to help children in their personal and educational development. I have now decided I want to pursue a career as an Educational Psychologist, where the Doctorate requires a minimum of 1 year working with children. Thanks to SLV.GLOBAL, I already have 3 months voluntary work under my belt and how varied that experience was; different age groups, cultures, clinical, educational and community settings, special needs, mental health, English as a foreign language, therapeutic activities, child protection and safeguarding training, children in care/detention centres, facing stigma and discrimination, disadvantaged backgrounds and lack of resources (the list goes on and on...)
And what about those oh so common interview questions?
• Team work
• Managing a team
• Managing a difficult situation/conversation
• Thriving under pressure
• Project management
• Planning and resourcing
• Working outside comfort zone
• Taking the initiative
As a result of my SLV.GLOBAL experience, my applications for jobs have been significantly enhanced. I have been invited to three interviews – one at a school for children with autism and two for Assistant Educational Psychologist positions. I received positive feedback, with all three commenting on how my enthusiasm for SLV.GLOBAL shone through. After being offered all three roles, I have accepted a job as an Assistant Educational Psychologist and hope to apply to the Educational Psychology Doctorate in December to start the following September (if unsuccessful I will apply again the following year!).
For people interested in my chosen career, other roles I have on my CV include: Adolescent Mental Healthcare Assistant (eating disorders), Primary School Teaching Assistant, Inspire Mentor for inner-city schools, and various roles of responsibility at University - e.g. Welfare Representative and Student Ambassador.
Although in this blog I mainly focus on how SLV.GLOBAL has enhanced my career prospects, as this reflects my current situation, I can’t go without mentioning all the other stuff too! As well as being my escape from post University blues and moving back home, I got to live with a lovely family in a beautiful home and was exposed to new culture, food and values – many of which I have brought home with me. I visited the most beautiful beaches and jungles and climbed never-ending mountains. I have made friends who I have since visited in Australia (and am hosting in the UK soon), met up with in New Zealand, and hope to meet up with in LA in the future too! My time away not only improved my awareness of the world but also of my own strengths and weaknesses and this self-reflection definitely boosted my confidence in my own abilities which has been evident since.
I owe a lot to SLV.GLOBAL and can’t thank them enough for providing such a well-organised, fun and hugely beneficial placement. They have always been extremely prompt and helpful providing references and I have recommended the placements to many people since – in fact my best friend’s sister is there right now and another friend is flying out in autumn!
I strongly suggest if you’re contemplating signing up, even the tiniest bit, to go for it! Just fill in the form below, drop them an email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or even give them a call. They’re super friendly and the whole experience will help you for years to come.