Why did you choose to study psychology?
My first experience of psychology was in Year 12, when I chose it as one of my science subjects. I found the content really interesting and considered pursuing a career as a counselling or clinical psychologist, as both options seemed to offer a good income and the flexibility of owning a practice.
What was the best thing about your course?
I really enjoyed the practical aspect of my psychophysiology subjects. The university gave us the opportunity to run our own science experiments and contribute to research in our field of interest.
What was the worst thing about your course?
It would have been helpful to have some practical experience of the psychology component. Of course, regulations around client and patient confidentiality create barriers to any work experience or internship opportunities, but I could have benefited from networking or mentoring from practising psychologists.
Have you found work in your field?
I was offered a job in marketing in my final year and have been able to apply my skills in the field ever since. Although I haven’t worked in a psychology-based role, I value what I learnt in my degree and how it has helped me in each role I’ve held. I am currently working in a global firm in Sydney in a management consulting role.
What advice would you give to students considering studying psychology?
I would suggest that you try to get some hands-on experience to see if you like the practical aspect of the job, as you’ll get plenty of theory in class. Practical experience may not involve working with clients or patients directly, but there are some options in mental health services, administrative support in private practice or voluntary phone or face-to-face counseling roles in underprivileged communities. The best thing about studying psychology is that it gives you the flexibility to consider career options in various clinical, organisational, consulting, business and educational settings.
Have you completed further study?
I undertook an additional honours year once I completed my degree, through which I completed research and wrote a thesis on early detection of schizophrenia. Now I am furthering my qualifications in marketing and business by completing a combined master of international business and master of commerce degree, specialising in strategic management and marketing. My knowledge of psychology theories has been particularly useful in areas of consumer behaviour, relationship marketing and managing multicultural teams.