I think it is vital for students and graduates to understand that what you learn at university does not just come straight from your textbook.
At this moment of time, I am completing a Masters of Social Sciences in Psychology at the University of Cape Town in conjunction with my work as an internship coordinator for the TraumaClinic Foundation. I would say that my qualification relates to my work in a very direct manner as I am applying the knowledge and skills from my research degree to the practical tasks of my occupation.
Time management and organisation! I know that these sound ever so cliché but I cannot stress how important it is to develop and refine these skills. I often work with tight deadlines in my research degree, and often deal with chaos in my line of practice. Therefore I have to utilise these said skills in order to maintain a healthy balance in my life.
Some of my daily activities include giving supervision, support, and guidance to both national and international postgraduate psychology students. Additionally, I liaise with the Western Cape Department of Education, the Western Cape Department of Social Development, and Child Protective Services. I will also edit and/or write pages for my dissertation as well as keeping up-to-date with ground-breaking research in my field.Moreover, I also volunteer for Hope House Counselling Centre, as well as for Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital. Furthermore, I am also an online mentor in the PsySSA Student Mentorship Programme - I help guide and navigate a less qualified student in the discipline of Psychology through the provision of coursework to improve their academic writing and research. Otherwise, when I have free-time, I will use it to practice self-care. Working in the mental health field requires one to be compassionate towards oneself as you are working within emotionally-charged settings. Examples of my self-care routine include active meditation, breathing exercises, enjoying time with famly and friends as well as attending therapy.
Do the extra readings! Watch documentaries and TEDTalks on your topic of interest and study! Volunteer! I think it is vital for students and graduates to understand that what you learn at university does not just come straight from your textbook. There will never be a downside to going above-and-beyond in your learning. Not only will it benefit the people and environment around you, but also aid you in growing in both a professional and personal manner.