Tell us about your career journey since you graduated…
Brunel was my first step and what introduced me to the United Kingdom, which I came to love. After Brunel I acquired a PGCert in Occupational Psychology and an MSc in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy. I have worked in the Hellenic Army as a Psychologist, in private practice in a psychotherapist’s office in Greece and with a law firm visiting inmates in detention centres and preparing MedicoLegal Reports. Now I am a Psychotherapist, member of BACP, working at The London Practice having my own clients and at The Mix helping young adults and children that experience mental health issues.
What does an average day at work involve for you?
An average day at work is different between the two offices where I currently work. In The London Practice, I meet with my clients at the same day and time each week. We discuss the issues that they may bring into the sessions and we focus on ways to overcome their difficulties. In The Mix, I provide counselling to young adults and children via webchat or the telephone. I also provide clinical supervision to volunteer counsellors that volunteer for us. I also try to develop our online services, so that it is easier for young people to use.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
The nature of my profession is to help people. One of the best moments in a counsellor’s career is to see the progress of their client and receive that feedback from them. There have been such moments in my career so far and that is what makes it even more exciting for me. People come to you with a problem or a difficulty, and just by discussing it, they feel better. They receive what they need out of the sessions and they can overcome their difficulties. That is precious for me.
How would you say Brunel helped you to get where you are today?
For me it all started with Brunel and that is something that I will never forget. I will also never forget what a lecturer in my first ever lecture told us. He said: “In psychology you will learn how to be humans. You will learn how to listen and how to speak.” I really liked this phrase and I still have it in my mind. If you are able to actively listen and know how and when to speak, you’ve already achieved so much. So, I could say that Brunel shaped me as a human.
Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?
Brunel has everything! It was one of the best choices I made. Even though I was in a foreign country, surrounded by so many different people, I felt safe. New students are welcomed in the University, there are many activities and societies that make it easy to meet new people. Everything you need is at Brunel in terms of academic and social life, so it is a perfect option for undergraduate students but also postgraduate ones.
What is your best memory of studying here?
I have many good memories from Brunel. I would have to say that the best one was my last year in where I had to prepare my dissertation. We did an experiment for our dissertation focusing on expertise. I say 'we' because it was a group experiment. I still remember and cherish the days that we would bring other students into the Gaskell building to take part in our experiment. This dissertation ended up being published as well. I still remember the names of my supervisors; it was Dr Stephen Johnston and Prof Fernand Gobet. Good times!
If you could give one piece of advice to new students, what would that be?
As a new student it is okay to feel overwhelmed. There are many activities and societies that you can get involved with. You will be able to find the right one for you. Through that you will be able to find people that share the same likes and dislikes as you. Remember to have fun and make the most out of it. Having said that, you are also in a University so be prepared for your lectures. The best that you can do is to find a balance between studying and your social life.
What would be your top tip or advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey?
Keep your eyes open for new opportunities and do not give up with the first rejection. You will get a lot of rejections but only one ‘YES’. That is all you need. One ‘yes’! I have been saying to myself after each rejection that I was not ready for it, which is why I did not get the job. When I am ready, the right role for me will land. If you see things from a positive point of view, positive things will be more positive and negative ones will be less negative.