Judhika Ravindran is a current 1st Year Clinical Psychology Trainee at the University of Glasgow. In this blog, Judhika shares her motivation, trials and tribulations on her journey into Clinical Psychology.
What drew you to a career in Clinical Psychology?
I was a young carer and growing up, I felt the stigma towards mental health difficulties in the Tamil community immensely. I wanted to use my experiences to change how in particular, the Asian community views and treats people with mental health challenges. I also wanted to be part of the change towards more relevant and effective models of therapy for BME individuals.
What was your experience of studying psychology at undergraduate level?
I found undergrad quite confusing. I didn’t know how “to do uni right”. I only attended compulsory lectures because I found it overwhelming. So much so, people thought I was kicked out! Eventually, I pulled it together!
Did you get a high 2:1 or 1st? If not, what impact do you feel this had on your journey into clinical psychology?
No, I am proud to say I have low 2:1. It meant my confidence was impacted, because I didn’t hear about people getting on with low 2:1s. I went onto gain an MSc with Merit to supplement that, in a topic I am very passionate about. I focused on the passions I have rather than the end goal.
How did you find out about relevant experience?
I used the internet a lot and applied for everything! Most importantly, I learnt things through word of mouth and more senior colleagues supporting my journey. Specifically, a fellow Tamil CBT therapist, who was really rooting for me.
What was your favourite prequalification role and why?
Being an Assistant Psychologist in a Family Intervention for Psychosis Team. It was as if the role was written for me! I love the Systemic Family Therapy model, and how it can be utilised for people from all different backgrounds! I started to see how models can be integrated and how varied the role of a Clinical Psychologist is.
Did you have any non-NHS clinical experience? If so, how helpful was it?
I volunteered as the Deputy Lead for an organisation called ‘ANBU UK’ in my spare time. This helped me to understand what it takes to organise and lead initiatives, like a Clinical Psychologist would do. It also really helped me boost my confidence and recognise my potential. I did lots of public speaking as a result, which I never thought I could do!
How many times did you apply to the doctorate before you gained a place? This was my 3rd attempt.
What one thing do you wish you had done differently when applying for the doctorate?
Waited till I was really ready! Being rejected from the course initially, despite telling myself it was a ‘practise round’ hit my confidence hard, and I convinced myself it would never happen. I felt pretty disheartened. If I had waited till I was ready, I think the process would have been less anxiety-provoking.
Why did you choose the course you are currently a trainee at?
Glasgow really love researching psychosis, which is my passion. Their values were very much in line with mine (and there isn’t a nasty selection test!). Scotland’s approach to mental health is something I value heavily. As a Londoner I also fancied a change from all the concrete.
Did you include information about being from a BAME background in your application or interview?
Yes, heavily. It’s in the first line of my personal statement, as its really key as to why I went into this field. I felt it was vital to know how adversity experienced within my community had shaped me and how this has prepared me for the role of a CP. Also, I’m so proud to be brown! I didn’t so much emphasise this during the interview stage though as it didn’t feel relevant to the questions asked.
What was one piece of advice that really helped you on your journey into training?
Be unapologetically you and celebrate yourself in your applications! Try to be open-minded towards yourself and the process. I included some personal experiences in my application which I was comfortable to do but this is definitely not a must.
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