Where to find work experience as a psychology student?
For people wanting a career that is both interesting and rewarding and never two days the same, psychology is where it’s at. Since psychology is all about the inner workings of the mind, you need to have really good skills and as much experience as possible in order to excel in this field. To earn a good graduate role or a place on a postgraduate course, you will need to demonstrate your psychology expertise through work experience.
Why work experience?
Experience in a working environment that even loosely deals with psychology means you have the best chance of getting your dream job or course. Work experience shows that you are committed to your chosen career and field of work and prepares you for a working environment in this field. Psychology is a broad subject, which means it is great for gaining work experience as there are many different places you can go.
The national health service
When it comes to psychology, we have to mention the national health service. The national health service is made up of so many different services, each of which may benefit from an extra pair of hands from time to time. The national health service is the primary place where psychology students can seek work experience, no matter what path they end up following. In general, work experience in the national health service will be voluntary, although you can get paid positions in nursing homes, hospices and hospitals.
Another great area of experience is working with the police. Forensic psychology plays a crucial role in the police as it tries to establish motives for committing a crime. Many police organizations, such as the Youth Offending Team, Victim Support and Nacro in the United Kingdom, may offer apprenticeships for psychology students. There is also a probation service that deals with the psychology of ex-prisoners. You can also volunteer at support centers for young people at risk or addicted people.
Human Resources departments
If you are interested in occupational psychology, an office position or working with HR is a fantastic way to increase your professional experience profile. You will be able to learn how the workplace works and gain experience in resolving disputes in the workplace, for example.
Local sports teams
While sports teams might not be the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to work experience in psychology, they are actually really beneficial. If you sign up to coach a team, it will be the perfect place to find out what is behind winning mentality in the psyche.
There are lots of options when it comes to gaining psychology work experience in afterschool activities. There are the usual homework clubs and holiday clubs that may be affiliated with a local school but there are also organizations like Explore Learning and Kumon where you can work with children and develop an understanding of how their minds work.
Charities and organizations
Charities are a great way to gain experience in psychology in practice. If your interests lie in mental health, for example, you can look for experience in an organization such as Samaritans, Off the Record or Mind. Other ideas are charities for people with disabilities or addiction organizations aiming at gaining experience in clinical psychology.