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Callum van Dyk
Callum van Dyk
Postgraduate student
MSc Occupational Psychology
Callum studied Psychology at Sheffield and heard about the MSc Occupational Psychology during his studies. He discusses the extensive range of opportunities he has taken part in as part of his course.
Callum van Dyk, MSc student

Before I started my course, I was studying for my undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Sheffield. I originally heard about Sheffield University Management School through my housemate in my first year. After this, I started to do some research on the courses on offer there.

Choosing the right place to study

I wanted to develop my knowledge and skills as a psychologist, but also take a progressive step towards a career in occupational psychology. So I knew that postgraduate study was the next stop for me. But I had a lot of options to consider.

The main reason I chose to study at Sheffield was because of the prestige of my course and the high accreditation of the Management School. The School’s reputation allowed me to feel relaxed knowing that the teaching staff were of a high standard. It also makes me feel comfortable when networking with other students and employers that I know I am studying at a respected school.

Getting up to speed

Before starting my postgraduate, I was concerned about the intensity and difficulty of the course. To address this, the Institute of Work Psychology (IWP) gave us an early assignment to complete that didn’t count towards our degree. This assignment was used to provide us with feedback on the quality of our work and provide suggestions for how we can improve upon our skills.

I also asked my program leader to put me in contact with a graduate of the course who could answer any questions I had about my development. The feedback I received from this partially addressed my concerns with workload, however my graduate contact was very informative and full of advice which completely settled my worries!

Making the most of opportunities

I have enjoyed all the opportunities available to me through the course. Just to name some, I have attended skills workshops, I can gain extra qualifications in psychometrics, and I have the chance to practice developing a simulated assessment centre. Further opportunities are also available through the IWP’s connections to practicing psychologists and private sector organisations. For example, I networked with organisation psychologists from multiple fields. The course is very well designed and is helping me find what area of occupational psychology I am most interested in.

One opportunity I’m really excited about is the Student Sponsorship Programme (SSP) offered by Psychological Consultancy Limited. I learned about this during a lecture. The programme gives students the chance to gain an insight into what it’s like to work in a business psychology consultancy. I’m pleased to say that the support and advice given by my academic tutors enabled me to write a successful application. So far, the workshops on workload management have been very beneficial in helping me balance my time with academic and professional pursuits.

Postgraduate students in the Courtyard Café

A great place to learn

I spend about half my time at the Management School and half my time at one of the University’s libraries. The School has a lot of modern teaching equipment and facilities, which are much more up-to-date than anywhere else I have studied. The school itself has numerous places where students can study, it also had a cafeteria. I find this tremendously useful when I am in the Management School all day and need to buy lunch. The staff within the school are super helpful and have helped me organise my timetable and navigate my way around the School.

And a great place to live

My favourite thing about Sheffield is that it is a vast and diverse city. There are lots of unique places and exciting things to get involved in. I really enjoy the mixture of cuisines available in Sheffield. There are two well-known places in Sheffield (Cutlery Works and Kommune) that serve a massive variety of food and drink from all around the world, are high quality, and aren’t too expensive. 

Getting career ready

I aspire to work as an Occupational Psychologist in Selection and Development. I feel that the Management School has helped me pursue this goal by all the support they have provided.

Since studying at the management school, I feel I have developed strong critical thinking skills and am more connecting to practitioners currently working as occupational psychologists. Through these two developments, I have more confidence in pursuing my career aspirations and networking with more experienced practitioners.

I feel that the Management School has helped me pursue my career goal by all the support they have provided. The school organises multiple skills workshops throughout the year, I have attended workshops aimed at developing organisational and critical thinking skills. I’ve found these workshops to be hugely beneficial for improving my academic work, but they are also valuable in the workplace.

My course has offered a lot of opportunities to experience the work that occupational psychologists perform, which has given me insight into what I will be doing in my future career.

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