So we are reaching the end of January already and exams are over! They have been interesting to say the least and quite different from what I have experienced in exams during my undergraduate degree.
As the topics at masters level become more specific so do the exam questions. As a result, I have found that there has been more emphasis on applying what you have learnt to a specific scenario or question. For example, through our selection and assessment module (my favourite module so far) we learnt about many different scientific methods of selection such as structured interviews, work sample tests etc. and in the exam we were asked to combine different methods of selection and design an assessment centre for the recruitment of managers in a large organisation. I think this has been my favourite module so far because of the applied nature of the topic.
Sometimes at university you can feel that you are learning some really interesting stuff but you question how it would actually benefit you to know it in the working world! But this module has been very applied in that way and you can see the information you are learning is directly related to the kind of job you are most likely to be doing when you graduate. That is because the largest amount of jobs in occupational psychology are in selection/ assessment and psychometrics!
Early in January I also had the opportunity to attend the Annual BPS Division of Occupational Psychology conference which was held in Brighton. Our lecturers told us about the conference around September time when we started the course and really recommended it. There were reduced rates for postgraduates which was good but despite that it was so worth the money.
It was held over three days and each day there were presentations about the latest research and developments in the field and also workshops and networking events. It was so useful because it really helped me to understand what the working life of an OP is like. I actually attended the conference alone which I was a bit worried about beforehand but when I got there everyone was so friendly and I met so many different people, a few who were still doing their masters like me, others who were quite far into their career and it was great speaking to these people and finding out how they got to where they did and what it is really like!
So overall January has been a great month for me and I would recommend anyone starting the course next year or in future years to really take up opportunities that are provided on the course because I have come to realise that if your tutors say something is beneficial then they know what they are talking about!!