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Choosing a direction, choosing a career

16 November 2018 | by Guest

Today's guest blog has been provided by Georgina Clayton, a recent graduate from The University of Nottingham now working as an Assistant Educational Psychologist, who wants to encourage other students and graduates to look further afield for placements and career opportunities.

When I graduated from the University of Nottinghamwith a degree in Psychology I found myself in a position which a lot of new graduates will be able to relate to – I knew that I wanted to use my degree to work with children, but I wasn’t sure exactly which direction my career would be heading in.

I had always wanted to travel and see new parts of the world, which brought me back to a talk I attended in the first year of university by SLV.Global, who arrange psychology work experience in Sri Lanka, India, and Bali and who are the headline sponsors for our Careers in Psychology events.

I didn’t feel brave enough back then, but over the summer I plucked up the courage to sign myself up for an advanced placement in Sri Lanka, where I could travel, gain experience working with children and consider my future career whilst doing valuable work.

My experience in Sri Lanka was everything that I wanted it to be and, seven months on from my return from Kotte and the Sri Lankan family I was placed with, I know how valuable the trip was and how it has helped to put my career on the right path, enhancing my CV and confirming what I always thought – working with children is the career for me.

My time in Sri Lanka was not just a career boost, though, as I got to experience a beautiful country and spend time living with a lovely family as I learned about a new culture, ate new food and took on new values.

I was able to visit stunning beaches, explore jungles and climb seemingly never-ending mountains, and made friends who I have since visited in Australia, New Zealand, and hopefully soon Los Angeles – as well as hosting them back here in the UK.

The whole experience confirmed that I want to use my skills, and the knowledge and experience I gained, to help children in their personal and educational development. I am now pursuing a career as an educational psychologist, for which the Doctorate requires a minimum of one year’s experience working with children.

Thanks to my placement with SLV.Global I already have three months of this work under my belt in a setting which saw me come into contact with different age groups and cultures.

It has boosted my CV significantly, and in the job interviews that I’ve had since my time in Sri Lanka, almost any question can be answered by referring to my placement. This helped me to secure a job as an assistant educational psychologist, and I am intending to apply for an Educational Psychology Doctorate this year.

My time in Sri Lanka improved my awareness of both the world and my own strengths and weaknesses, all of which has boosted my self-confidence and helped me to take the steps I have since returning to the UK.

My placement was well organised, fun and hugely beneficial, and I really recommend that anyone having those doubts that I had in my first year to get in touch with SLV.Global and go for it – you will have the trip of a lifetime, and gain experience which will help your career for years to come.

Our next Careers in Psychology event takes place at Northumbria University in Newcastle tomorrow, and places are still available.


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