Alumni Profile: Gerard Anderson
Head of Brain Injury Services at the Child Brain Injury Trust
MSc Psychology of Childhood Adversity (2014-2016)
What specifically drew my attention to psychology was the realisation that psychology is a very useful subject to study if you are interested in working at a strategic level, with academics or with people across different sectors. Psychology is a subject that gives you the skills to critically analyse your own decisions as well as those of others, and supports you in becoming an emotionally intelligent leader. From primary school through to secondary school and even in university, there were times when I thought “when am I ever going to use this in normal life”. When it comes to psychology, I can honestly say… in everyday life!
One of the things I was looking forward to most was my placement, which certainly didn’t disappoint. Allowing me to study psychology in Kenya was something I’m not sure would have been possible if it wasn’t for Queen’s. My placement challenged my own pre-conceived views of what was right, appropriate and acceptable in modern day society. It also helped me develop my research and analytical skills, something that I’m especially grateful for. I not only benefitted from my placement academically, but personally, in the friends I made and the people I learned from. It was not just about learning from lecturers, but using the knowledge, skills and experience of the classmates I was on my journey with, that I was benefitting from.
When I think back to my time at Queen’s, it will always be of a time when I was challenged, both personally and professionally. Studying at Masters level while working full time was not easy, in fact there were times I questioned whether it was the right decision, but it was an experience I would never change and has helped shape me into the leader I am today.
I would recommend Psychology at Queen’s. You will be given opportunities I don’t believe you will have in other universities that teach psychology. You will have an opportunity to study topics and subjects that are emotive, divisive, controversial and thought provoking. You will also be held accountable for your work and challenged academically and personally, but this is because of the high calibre teaching you will receive and the standards that are expected from a world-renowned institution.
If I could impart some knowledge from my time studying at Queen’s, then it would be to see it as an experience that will set you up for many years to come. Immerse yourself in every learning opportunity you’re presented with, and see your classmates as potential colleagues you may be working with after you graduate.
Psychology is not just a subject for aspiring clinical or educational psychologists, but also a subject that is used to develop leaders, build teams, create relationships and a subject that will enable you to develop emotional intelligence and critical thinking skills that others will remember you for.