Why did you choose to study at the University?
I’ve always been interested in Jung and analytical psychology, so I felt like finding out more about the man whose writings shaped my life and personality during my youth. Two years ago my knowledge of post-Jungian literature was quite limited and I also wanted to learn more about this growing field of scholarship. I would say I knew what I wanted and, on top of that, I also had friends who studied here and were very happy about their academic achievements and experiences. Therefore, choosing the University of Essex was a smart and easy decision to make.
How have you found settling into university life at Essex (both socially and academically)?
Having studied abroad before, I wasn’t scared of the idea of moving to a new country, meeting new people and finding my own path. Things happened pretty much as expected and I would say they are still happening because some of the people that I met here, I am happy to call my friends. I think it was the lecturers and my colleagues that made me enjoy this programme even more than expected. It doesn’t just feel like learning about something I wanted to get a degree in, it felt like learning about myself as well. And all this was possible because communication was encouraged at all levels, in the seminar room and outside of it. I gained more than theoretical knowledge -- I gained friends I can trust when it comes to insightful discussion, be that on the problem of Jung and society or, as simple as where to go on a Friday evening.
Which modules do you enjoy and why?
My favourite module was PA974, Selected Applications of Analytical Psychology. I learned how to connect Jungian concepts and ideas with real life situations. I came to understand that Jungian psychology has changed a lot in 100 years, but the core ideas will probably never die. Applying a Jungian framework to social, political or cultural phenomena made me realise how complex Jungian psychology is and how much more I have to learn about it. I was also happy to use my knowledge from other fields, e.g. communication science, and it is great to see that a multidisciplinary approach is truly encouraged within the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies. We had different lecturers for each seminar on PA974, experts in their field (psychotherapy, film studies, politics etc), which helped me gain a broader perspective on a large variety of subjects where Jungian psychology can be of use.
Do you think any of your modules will be particularly useful with a future career?
I believe all the modules will be helpful in my career because this programme shaped my way of thinking. I was already a very analytical person, and this has been thoroughly enhanced, both in terms of Jungian theory and clinical practice. I feel a lot more organised; have stronger clarity of mind and, after reading so many things, I am more confident when it comes to my academic pursuits and career plans.
Has coming to Essex helped you to decide what you want to do in your future?
It definitely did. When I came here I wasn’t sure whether I should pursue psychotherapeutic training or an academic path . Now I feel like I want both of them, but not at the same time. So, I’ll start with a PhD and, as I get older and wiser, I am going to train as a psychotherapist too. I am happy I didn’t have to make a single choice.
Have you utilised the Careers Centre?
I utilised the Careers Centre in the second year of my Master’s. They are very helpful. My impression is that this university wants to ensure that you not only get a degree, but also extra-tools to use when out there and ‘hunting’ for a real job. I was very pleased with the Careers Centre and I wish more universities had this strategy of helping students understand that it isn't all about your degree, it is also about what to do with it – and with yourself - afterwards.
Do you have a part-time job, is this relevant to your degree/ future career path?
I had a few part-time jobs, including two positions in the Centre. I am currently the audio-video assistant for the CPS and I enjoy it very much. As I have a background in journalism, a part of me will always feel good utilising my communication skills in my work. I was a frontrunner research assistant last year, and that was extremely helpful for me, both as a future PhD candidate (I got to work with and meet some PhD students) and as a future professional (working with CPS staff and learning from them).
What is your fondest memory of your time at Essex so far?
I would say my fondest memory is one from the first year, when I went to Wellcome Library with Dr Kevin Lu and my MA cohort. We all met in London and had a tour of the library, we got to see some of Jung’s letters, touch them (and even take selfies with them!). We found out more about archival work and what we should do if interested in properly researching Jung’s life and writings. After that, some of my colleagues and I spent the afternoon in London, having a nice time and getting to know each other better.
Finally, what is your single top tip for new students?
Start working on your projects early, but make sure you have enough time to discover that life at Essex is so much more than just completing your readings!