Journey to Masters - Why I decided to Pursue Masters at UTS
For UTS Clinical Psychology student Brad Shaw, real world experiences and a desire to help others is what influenced his decision to embark on postgraduate studies.
They offered a relaxed and collaborative learning environment where all lecturers are practicing clinicians, so discussing the importance of putting theory into practice is always an active conversation!
I was not always confident I would apply for a postgraduate degree until the year I did. Like most people, personal experiences and general interest in the area gave me some direction throughout my undergraduate degree and made me consider possible career paths. However, after the stress of Honours year, I doubted if further intensive study was for me. And if so, which degree would I choose? How do I know for sure that my job prospects will increase significantly because I completed a Master’s degree?
It took a few years after I completed my undergraduate degree to feel as though I had the maturity and the motivation to appreciate what doors a Master’s program could open for me.
I gave myself a ‘Gap Year’ trying to figure out where I would like to go in my career and what type of role I enjoyed most. I initially worked in retail, then as a sports coach and disability support worker. Although these were all enjoyable experiences, I was happy to continue my search for the area of work I really wanted to do.
My volunteer experience at Lifeline gave me great insight into working with a vulnerable population, and doing my part to help where I can. However, I was limited to talking to people on the phone every fortnight that were in crisis. My experience at Lifeline ultimately confirmed that I wanted to learn more skills and have the opportunity to help people face-to-face on a daily basis.
I was also lucky enough to get experience working as a research assistant in the mental health and substance use field at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. My supervisors and colleagues were passionate people who enjoy making a difference for people going through tough times. The opportunities I was afforded there helped me realise the level of enjoyment I gained through the process of continuous learning in this area. Although I enjoy research, my passion was becoming clearer, despite my past doubts and fears.
All of these events ultimately led me to the information night and interview for the Masters of Clinical Psychology program at UTS. They offered a relaxed and collaborative learning environment where all lecturers are practicing clinicians, so discussing the importance of putting theory into practice is always an active conversation! I feel that I always knew I wanted to do this course, but questioned my ability to firstly get in, and secondly to keep up with the demands of the course.
I would encourage anyone who is thinking that further study might be too difficult or stressful, or fears failure; to follow their passion and to throw themselves in the deep end. That little bit of doubt fuels me to be better and continue to learn. I realised nearly everyone in the course has some fears and doubts themselves at times, but ultimately, it’s because we want to get the best out of ourselves. I am sure that I have made the right choice and I am enjoying working with passionate people and look forward to the journey ahead.
Written by Brad Shaw, a UTS GSH Clinical Psychology student.