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But I’m a Psych student, is GLP for me?

2018 Macquarie Undergraduate Research Interns, presenting in the One Minute Thesis Competition for the MURI Program.

**Disclaimer: This blog post was written before COVID-19

The answer to that question is 100% yes. The Global Leadership Program (GLP) crosses over a variety of disciplines. A common misconception is that participating the GLP is more beneficial to those doing Law or Business for example. Elementary my dear Watson! Contrary to that false notion, the GLP is framed to give all students, from all specialties the chance to engage in activities that are not only relevant to them but expand students’ awareness of other disciplines that may come into play in their future career progression and direction.

The vision of the Global Leadership Program is to give students the chance to gain a variety of experiences from practical to leadership to cultural development, crossing over an international or domestic landscape. As a Psychology student, this is highly necessary to be a proactive professional within the Psychology field and there are a multitude over opportunities for engagement that align with this purpose. So here are some tips and suggestions that I have developed as a Psychology student that could help you to engage in the GLP.

1. Never underestimate the impact of being a Mentor. It is essential to the area of Psychology.

An important quality in psychology especially today, is being able to show cross-cultural awareness and willingness to hone interpersonal skills and provide information/guidance to help others with their needs. Mentoring is a perfect extra-curricular activity that develops all these traits. There are a several opportunities to participate in mentoring programs within Macquarie University, but two I would profoundly recommend is being a Macquarie Mentor (Faculty) and the LEAP Mentoring Program.

The LEAP Mentoring program gives you practical experience in learning how to communicate with young people, while learning the importance of cultural and situational sensitivity. Becoming a Macquarie Mentor gives you the tools to learn how to represent an organisation, all while learning the importance of people-centred practice and approaches. Give it a go if you haven’t already!

2. Write down what you are passionate about in psychology. Research organisations that target this area, with either an international, cross-cultural or leadership focus. And don’t be afraid to contact and be involved with them.

Don’t wait for only your designated PACE subject PSY399 to engage in your passion. Begin with listing what really drives you in Psychology. It could be Indigenous wellbeing, creating effective models for better workplace relationships, or advancements in neuropsychological testing. Whatever and however many it may be, look up any new enterprises that are relevant to your list. Some can be right on campus such as Glue To You (if your passion is helping those with experiences of Domestic Violence) and the Bawurra Foundation (if your passion is to help Indigenous Australian community). Additionally, look into bigger organisations such as the Autism Spectrum Australia or The Reach Foundation. Call and see what you can offer as a psychology student to those entities.

3. Conference and Seminars are AMAZING. Don’t only attend them, participate in them.

Conferences don’t only offer you content. But as a Psychology student, you need to be able to question what you learn, be analytical and present a case forward for adaptive ways of thinking or approaches to social problems within the field. I suggest actively attending conferences that do have an GLP outlined focus. They don’t only have to be Psychology based. If you are interested in having your own private psychology practice or becoming an organisational psychologist, a business leadership conference might be the thing for you.

Tedx conferences could be a good place to start!

Psychology interns representing the Bawurra Foundation at the Mental Health Matters Awards at the Shangri La Hotel, September 2018

4. Consider what the ENTIRE world has to offer in the Psychology field i.e. TRAVEL.

I’m going to keep this suggestion short. GO ON EXCHANGE!

Short term or long term, 2 weeks or 1 entire semester. A fresh perspective of the world has an immense impact on your course through Psychology.

5. Engage in the unknown. It builds your ability to examine how Psychology is applied in all disciplines.

Finance was not my forte, but I found myself in the Microfinance colloquium where Shane Nichols shared that just hearing one talk on microfinance (an area so foreign to him), shaped his impact on the world. Make the most of what GLP has to offer because even if you absorb only 10% from a colloquium, that 10% can be enough to push you closer to whatever your goal within Psychology may be.

6. Finally, talk to your GLP Faculty Advisor!

If you are 100% stuck on what to do, talk with the advisor for Faculty of Human Sciences. They are there for you seriously! Engage with them on the potential opportunities that you could do for Experiential Credit. They have handled hundreds of students within the faculty who have completed Psychology and they can offer much needed direction.

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