I am originally from the UK and I grew up on a small island on the coast of France called Jersey (no, not New Jersey – original Jersey, where Jersey cows come from). I always get asked ‘why Melbourne, why Australia?’ but I feel like my answer changes every time depending on how I feel that day. What I am sure of is that once I arrived here in Melbourne, it was a place I never wanted to leave.
My journey to becoming a psychologist has been no small feat. I completed my first four years in Australia and made friends I will be close with for the rest of my life. I fell in love with a city that has endless offerings of great food, coffee, live music, live sport, interesting pop up activities, and always new things to try out, and really settled into the Australian way of life. Then my money ran out and I had to move back home to the UK to start saving my pennies again. Working in HR for a law firm for three years I thought I might get used to the idea of continuing my career at home. But I couldn’t shake the desire to finish my studies in psychology, become a registered psychologist and work in Melbourne. So, that led me to apply to Deakin.
Now that I have studied my Master of Psychology (Organisational), it feels like all the hard work has paid off. I am going to be in a profession where I enjoy going to work every day and am passionate about what I am doing. The organisational psychologists that I met through the course – who are guest lecturers, connections of the rest of my cohort, placement supervisors, or other industry connections – all also seem to really love what they are doing. I have not met an organisational psychologist yet who does not feel they are making a difference (perhaps we are brainwashed after all).
The teaching that I have experienced at Deakin has been second to none – the lecturers are engaging and care about what they do and about the profession, the course content is continuously updated to reflect feedback from previous cohorts, the assignments challenge us to complete tasks that I have seen in the workforce, and class discussions have always been insightful and valuable. I was also pleasantly surprised by the huge amount of placement choices that have been available to us and I know this is mostly due to the hard work put in by the placement coordinators.
During my placements I worked for organisations that were very different and gave me a variety of experience. My first placement was with large engineering firm where I worked closely with the internal People and Culture team. I then joined the Human Capital team as a management consultant at one of the Big 4 banks, where there were lots of other organisational psychologists to learn from. I really got to see how organisational psychology is applied in the workplace. I finally joined a small management consultancy (which also had a number of talented organisational psychologists for me to work with).
Throughout this journey, I got to work on a variety of interesting projects, was engaging with key stakeholders and clients on a regular basis, and was required to apply my learning from the course to continuously develop my skills as an organisational psychologist. I was offered jobs from two of the three placements organisations I worked for, and feel this speaks volumes of the reputation that a Deakin education has in the job market.
Overall, I feel very lucky to have landed at Deakin and to be working towards a profession I know is going to make me happy to go to work every day. Although moving to a new city entirely on your own can be scary, the course itself has made the effort worthwhile. Plus, doing a masters degree makes it easy to make friends at university and also on placement. I wouldn’t look back!