Currently, I am the Director for Development, Education and Youth at Emergenetics International - Asia Pacific (EGI-A). I am also the Principal Psychologist of the company in Asia Pacific, headquartered in Singapore. My responsibilities include building the business in Asia Pacific, with a focus in Education and Youth; systemically educating individuals on how they can achieve mental wellness; designing and developing application tools, and giving youths, and those who work with them, the skills and strategies to help them gain success and happiness.
People would be surprised to know that I am actually a very private person. This is contrary to my professional or public role or image, where I am usually out there engaging people a lot at different levels. Some of my long term career ambitions include writing my own books and being part of teams or groups that can influence or directly make policy improvements in my country.
Since completing the Bachelors of Arts in Psychology at UQ, I have gone for many courses to upgrade my skill-sets and knowledge to become a Developmental Psychologist, including postgraduate study. I have worked in the social service sector for more than a decade. I started a mental health company for three years before selling it. I maintain a private practice seeing clients who need psychological interventions. I design and write programmes, give keynote speeches and speak at conferences. I consult and advise government on policies and programmes. I have led overseas expeditions, and much more!
The most valuable thing I took away from my studies at UQ Psychology was understanding why people behave the way they do! It intrigues me. In my first year at UQ, I recall discussing developmental theories about how, as an adult, our behaviours could be understood by looking at our early years of development. I thought it was really good because I learned a lot about myself. I am grateful for the times lecturers and tutors spent with me to help me understand and apply what I was learning. They do it so patiently. I am grateful also for the dedicated and professional team of lecturers at the School.
Just by being overseas and being in a reputed University like UQ, opened many doors for me, including entry into the Masters programme at one of our prestigious Universities in Singapore - the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. Additionally, the culture at UQ was one that was very inclusive. International students were very welcomed and the spirit of professionalism, quality education and unity in diversity were very strong. I still carry them with me today. There are many stories to tell about my UQ days, including taking the CityCat Ferry to campus and being subjects of Psychology Research. It was very memorable.
To the current UQ students: Be open to learning – Psychology can be really dry at the beginning because there is lots of reading, particularly of research papers. I call it the "necessary evil". It is the foundation of the work you are going to do in psychology. If you do this well, when you start your career in psychology, everything will come to life. To graduates of the program, if you are serious about psychology, take time to find out which clientele you would be most comfortable working with. Start clocking the hours working with them. It is all about how good you would eventually become with that particular group. Knowing who they are as soon as possible, and diving deep into it after that is necessary.