Name: Diksha Narendra Laungani
Programme: BSc (Hons) Psychology with Counselling
Year of graduation: 2014
Company name: Stepping Stones Center for Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Position: Vocational Educator
Postgraduate University Name: UCL Institute of Education
Course: DEdPsy Professional Doctorate in Educational, Child & Adolescent Psychology
Q1. What made you choose Middlesex University Dubai?
Middlesex was my only choice due to the unique programme that it offered (only UK University in Dubai to offer Psychology with Counselling) and also since I had an opportunity to receive an honours degree within 3 years.
Q2. What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?
The excellent research opportunities and learning from the very diverse and experienced faculty.
Q3. What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?
Everything. I enjoyed absolutely everything and would not change anything if given a chance. I have to say that the final year, despite all the deadlines and projects helped me mature and grow the most.
Q4. What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?
You're making the right choice - just be confident in yourself and your abilities!
Q5. Where has your professional life taken you since graduation?
I was fortunate enough to be offered a job before graduation (at the same company that I interned at) and have spent a wonderful time working hard to help young teens with disabilities become more independent in their lives. This experience made me realise how much I love this field and want to move a step ahead by pursuing my Doctorate in Educational Psychology. I am going to be moving to London for a three-year course in September!
Q6. Can you give an example of a time when you put the things you learned at Middlesex to practical use?
All the skills taught to be in my counselling class were greatly helpful to me in my practice with my clients - I was able to connect very well with them and yet be mindful of all professional and ethical guidelines.
Q7. What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?
Education is an extremely fulfilling field to be in - with new developments and challenges every day, there is no better position to be in for personal growth than here! However, working with young, growing minds does leave one mentally exhausted at times - regular breaks are a must!
Q8. What are the top three tips you would give to current students and recent graduates who are looking for a similar career to yourself?
- Make sure to gather professional experience (in terms of internships and/or part-time jobs) alongside studying - there is really no alternative to actual work experience in the job market!
- Don't be hesitant to experience the various sectors within Psychology (child/clinical/organizational/educational, etc.) before choosing your domain
- Keep on the lookout for new courses/workshops constantly - employers love it when you are up-to-date on new strategies/research!
Q9. What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?
Take more time to enjoy your first year! University is a wonderful new experience - make the most of it :)