Graduate Profile: Shiren Goush
The MSc course gave me the opportunity to complete a clinical project as an honorary assistant psychologist, an experience which was helpful in getting my subsequent jobs.
Shiren works as an Assistant Educational Psychologist.
How did you get your job?
I applied to a job advert and got invited to an interview selection process which involved a group interview, an individual interview and a test. I assist Educational Psychologists in compiling Statutory Reports for Educational Health Care Plans. Usually I will have been sent reports to proofread and cases to prepare. I attend school visits where I will take notes and make detailed observations. I also organise the annual Special Education Needs Conference. I am also involved in training related to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Video Interaction Guidance, Narrative Therapy and Adverse Childhood Experiences. The opportunity to learn about therapy and interventions to help children struggling with social, emotional and mental health needs is really interesting. I really enjoy the supportive work environment, receiving supervision, and having kind and considerate supervisors. I would like to become a clinical psychologist, specialising sports and movement therapy to help young people struggling with mental health issues. I would also like to contribute to research on depression and other mental health issues.
What have been your challenges?
In my previous role as a mental health youth worker my job was entirely based on direct contact with service users. However, working without supervision and sufficient support led to burnout so my challenge has been to figure out a middle ground that would allow me to engage in report writing and research while allowing direct contact with sufficient support. Another challenge was finding employment relevant to psychology directly. Being an international student made it much harder and the competition is fierce. One of the big challenges I have faced is trying to narrow down my area of interest and being sure about which path I’d like to pursue.
In what way is your university qualification relevant to this role?
The MSc course gave me the opportunity to complete a clinical project as an honorary assistant psychologist, an experience which was helpful in getting my subsequent jobs. The training in writing, critical thinking and giving presentations has afforded me the confidence to undertake my current role. I have been involved in numerous voluntary roles which gave me valuable experience and demonstrated my interest and passion in this area of work.
What advice can you give to others wishing to enter this field?
Don’t be afraid to take lower paying jobs if they offer you the opportunity to gain experience. This will then serve as a base to propel you into better jobs. Do not worry about how long it takes. Take all the time you need to explore your areas of interest so that you can be sure when you finally pick a suitable route for you. Utilise the contacts you have and speak up, don’t be afraid to reach out or ask questions because that is how you will learn and be able to open doors for yourself. Engage in lots of voluntary roles and opportunities in areas that spark your interest.