Melissa shares her journey into Educational Psychology including her learning experience, favourite resources and advice for aspiring trainees.
What drew you to a career in Educational Psychology?
I struggled academically in school for a long time which motivated me to pursue a career where I could empower and motivate young people.
Were you part of any educational psychology mentoring schemes? If so, which one and how did it help?
I joined the Educational Psychology doctoral applicants page on Facebook. It was great to see so many people in the same position as me. I was able to find resources, job adverts and join various discussion forums to increase my understanding on different topics.
What was your experience of studying psychology at undergraduate level?
I loved my degree, but there was not much content on educational psychology. Most of my course tutors had specialisms in either forensic, clinical and cognitive psychology so the course had a large focus on that.
What was your research experience prior to gaining a place on the doctorate?
I had written a literature review for an educational psychologist on dyslexia. Other than that, my research was mainly academic e.g. dissertations, until my role as a Research Psychologist. In my Research Psychologist role, I focused a lot on whole school approaches to mental health, which is something very important in modern-day society.
Why did you choose the course/university that you are currently training at?
University of Birmingham is local for me. Additionally, Birmingham has a great track record of trainees starting and finishing the course on time. Working in the West Midlands I was able to build up good relationships with the course tutors over time, so when it came to applying, I had a good understanding of most of the tutors and the course.
What was one piece of advice that really helped you on your journey into training?
“It’s not IF you’re going to be an Educational Psychologist, but WHEN you’re going to be an Educational Psychologist” – Dr Anthony Attwell (Senior Educational Psychologist and my supervisor).
Trainee Educational Psychologist
University of Birmingham