I thought the first five years of studying psychology was great, I was so happy to learn the content and so excited at the possibility of being a psychologist. So it came as a shock in honours when in the first week, I felt inadequate, poorly prepared, and felt like my future was unattainable.
In the very first class, our tutor asked us what we wanted to do after honours. I was up first and I said something like “I don’t know…keep studying I guess…” and he said, what would you study? and I said, “not sure, clinical masters I guess”. Then the rest of the room got their turn, and it turned out almost everyone in the group of ~20 wanted to do clinical masters. The tutor then told us (almost with glee) that Swinburne would only take about 15 students into clin masters and that most of us wouldn’t get in. Apparently, to even have a shot at it, we had to have extensive clinical experience, outstanding references, high HD grades, AND ace the interview (if we were lucky to be offered one).
After that class I went straight to a computer lab and started to look up work experience opportunities for clinical roles, and I remember calling Pete in tears and telling him that I’d ruined my life, I had no chance to be a psychologist, I had to quit my job asap and do volunteer clin roles. Somehow I persevered through the hardest year of studies I’d encountered, and along the way made a friend who was literally the only person who had ever spoken about organisational psychology. Lucky for her and lucky for the lightbulb moment where I realised I love my corporate job, and could actually apply for the org psych masters.
And what a difference one year makes. I started the masters in org psych in early March, and so far it’s been the best experience of my life. I’m in a much happier state than I was this time last year when completing honours.
First and foremost, the content is fantastic. I’m still working two days a week, and I find that I can relate almost everything I’m learning back into the workplace. Deakin and the Aus. Psych Association (APS) also offers additional opportunities to learn and gain experience, which is incredibly useful. So far I’ve attended a public speaking workshop with the APS and an ASIST Suicide Prevention workshop. I’m already getting a sense that when I finish this in 2 years time, I’ll have gained an immense amount of knowledge, skills, and experience. Because of this, it’s impossible to not be motivated by the coursework.
Secondly, the quality of our lecturers and guest speakers, and even the motivation of my peers have all been fantastic. I’m learning a lot from the people around me, but the best thing about the social interaction is that I feel like we all have similar values and goals in life. I have so much respect and admiration for the other students, regardless of age and backgrounds, they’re the most motivated and hardworking group of people I’ve ever met. It’s such a joy to go to uni, not once have I wanted to skip class.