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Alumni Insight: Callum Mogridge, MSc Organisational Psychology

Callum Mogridge graduated from the MSc Organisational Psychology course at Alliance Manchester Business School in 2020, after graduating from the BSc(Hons) Psychology degree at The University of Manchester in 2019.

Now working as Business Support Officer for the Government Skills and Curriculum Unit in Manchester, we recently caught up with them to find out more about their experience at Alliance MBS.

Why did you choose to study this Master's course at Alliance MBS?

There were a couple of things that attracted me to Alliance MBS. The first thing was the fact that I took an organisational psychology unit in the final year of my BSc in Psychology at The University of Manchester. This was predominantly taught by Dr David Hughes, who is also the Programme Director for the associated MSc programmes at AMBS. I saw first-hand the teaching capabilities that David had and felt major confidence that his teaching team on the MSc would be very similar and I wasn’t wrong.

The second thing is the fact that all the staff who teach on the programme are also active researchers in their field. A lot of universities nationally claim that you’ll be taught by world-leading researchers and this is never really the case. However, The Organisational Psychology Research Group - who also teach on the MSc - have some real pioneers in their fields, such as Professor Paul Irwing who is an extremely well-known and published psychometrician, Professor David Holman who has published extensively and has expertise in job demands and emotion regulation, and Professor Robin Martin who is one of the most widely cited authors in leadership literature.

Another attraction point for me was the opportunity to undertake BPS-recognised Ability and Personality Test User qualifications, which really enhance employability outcomes.

What were you doing before your MSc?

I’d joined the MSc straight from my BSc, which I know a lot of people on my course didn’t do and had some years in industry first. However, I decided to just go for it. I’ve been working since the age of sixteen and I know how to market the skill sets I’ve been developing over the last five years. I felt I was on a very similar level to my peers who had that industry experience thanks to my work experience to date. Previously I’d also worked for The University of Manchester Careers Service as an Applications Adviser and started teaching on the BSc Psychology programme just as I started my MSc too.

What were the top 3 highlights of your programme?

This is a tough one as I really suck at picking just a few things… 

1. Very geeky, but developing my statistical and data capabilities. This has proven absolutely invaluable in my career so far and I’d be extremely stuck without it in my current role. These skills have opened a wealth of doors to me. In my current role I don’t have to do a lot of the inferential statistical testing, but being extremely data literate and critically thinking about data and how to interpret it has made my value in the workplace stand out (or so I hope!).

2. My research thesis/dissertation. This was an odd one because COVID had just broken out as we were due to start our research, so we had to shift focus. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed owning my own project and being able to do what I wanted with it. My supervisor, Dr David Hughes, was an incredible mentor/supervisor and I’ve taken so much of his knowledge and 'critical' wisdom with me and still make use of that on most days.

3. The people. The people on my MSc were some of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. I still keep in touch with many of them now. One of them is a Civil Servant like myself in a statistics-focused role, another is involved in HR Talent Management for a financial firm and the other works for one of the big consultancy firms with expertise in Selection, Assessment and Recruitment. It was my peers who made the experience all the more enjoyable and we pushed each other to be the best that we could be. Even during the pandemic where we were isolated in different parts of the country - and internationally - we kept each other going strong and I don’t think we would’ve made it through without each other.

What have you been doing since graduation?

Since graduating I’ve sort of had three different roles. The first two were with The University of Manchester where I was involved in Teaching and Research in Psychological Sciences. I did this throughout my MSc, but also after until about March 2021. I’m still research active in my latest role with colleagues at The University of Manchester where I investigate discrimination and experiences of LGBT populations, especially with a focus on unconscious bias and recruiter discrimination.

Currently, I work for the Cabinet Office in the heart of government for a unit called the Government Skills and Curriculum Unit (GSCU). The GSCU is responsible for learning, training, and development across the Civil Service and I’m part of an amazing area called Fast Stream abs Emerging Talent. We oversee the smooth running and coordination of the Civil Service Fast Stream.

My immediate role is to support Fast Streamers who may need workplace adjustments, help manage our workforce planning, work on internal recruitment and work on our HR platforms. Beyond that, I’m also involved in our People and Engagement Groups where I lead on data and analytics (massive thanks to my MSc) and - non-surprisingly given my expertise in higher education, I’m also working on some university outreach work too.

How has your time at Alliance Manchester Business School helped you in your current role?

There are two big things for me, and largely I think I have two big mentors at The University of Manchester, Dr David Hughes and Dr Doron Cohen, to thank. The first is becoming extremely data literate, capable in statistics, research and analysis and thinking critically on both an operational (day to day activity) and strategic (future planning) level. The second thing is considering my skill sets and how these fit into the bigger picture of my wider organisational demands and how I can benefit the smooth running of a larger operation.

What advice would you give to those considering studying at Alliance Manchester Business School?

Quite simply, stick to it. The jump from BSc/BA to MSc is a hard one. The workload increases and you have just one year to pull off as much as you can. But you just have to take each day in its stride. That’s not to say just sit and do nothing of course! Plan your time accordingly and think smart about what you need to do and how you’re going to achieve your goals. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the academic staff on the programme as they’re a lovely bunch, and make use of connections on LinkedIn if you ever need some more peer-on-peer guidance/mentoring. It’s always about using what you have at your disposal, and your greatest asset is yourself.

Any other interesting information about your profile that you might like to share that could be of interest?

I have a keen interest in development and have won a host of Teaching & Learning Awards and external accreditations. I’m MORE than happy for students and potential students to connect with me on LinkedIn and get in touch at any time to ask questions.

  • Member of the British Psychological Society (MBPsS) - lots of new resources and discounted events and conferences
  • Member of the Association for Business Psychology (MABP) - great for networking and meeting practitioners too
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) - opened doors to teaching