Dear Monashians,

Are you a second- or third-year student who wishes to take on an internship program in a credible and well-known company? If you are, you may have checked in at Monash Career Fair, held on the 24th to 25th of April at the Sports Centre.

Photo Credit: Jes-si Lee

Organised annually by Monash Career Services Centre, this fair hosted roughly about 40 different companies such as Maybank, OCBC Bank, Sunway, EcoWorld, Huawei, IBM, Nestle, Shell and Shopee.

As a first-year Arts student, I decided to survey the fair and check out the different companies who might potentially offer me an internship program one day. I’ll admit I was curious to find out what sort of career I could potentially pursue.

As a psychology major, I am very aware that the field is very broad. Ask any psychology lecturer, and he or she will tell you not to worry about being hired for a good job: as long as there are people working in a company, there is a need for psychology graduates. One can never escape having to deal with people, and there will always be a niche for hiring employees with a psychology background.

Do you know what the goals of psychology are?

Number One: To understand.

Number Two: To describe.

Number Three: To predict.

Number Four: To change.

Hence, you can see that there will always be a need for psychology graduates. However, as a first-year student, I was still in the dark about which career path to pursue, as I had not really done my homework in researching what to do in my future, because, let’s face it. If you are a first-year student, working life still seems so far away. If you are a third-year student, you might even still be in denial about having to graduate. ‘Adulting’ is tough, isn’t it!

Plus, like many other students, I still wasn’t very sure whether I would eventually head down the career path I had initially planned for myself. Aside from psychology, I am thinking of majoring in writing as well. With this in mind, what are the career options available to me?

Apparently, there is quite a vast selection to choose from, as the employers in Monash Career Fair were excited to lay out the options like a buffet spread to me.

First, of course, if you are a psychology student who is planning on starting out in the corporate world, you could always begin in Human Resources (HR) Department. What does an intern do in HR? Well, if you choose to intern with Nestle, you would be assisting your employers in planning and facilitating training and development programs the company’s employees. The aim of these programs is to motivate employees to perform better at their jobs (because companies would always love to maximise employees’ job performance and increase productivity), and in doing so, it will be the time for psychology students to put their knowledge on human motivation to use! Who knows, if you play your cards right, you may have the privilege of being offered a full-time job when you finally do graduate!

Next, if you love meeting new people and manipulating persuading their thoughts and opinions, you may enjoy working in a marketing department. Are you proud of your people skills? Think you have what it takes to convince others to see things your way? Do you talk so fast that you leave people so dazzled and confused that they are apt to just agree with whatever you say just to get you to shut up? (I’m just kidding on the last one!)

Well, if you decide to branch into maketing, you may find yourself loving your job!

What if you don’t want long office hours or a fixed work schedule? What if you want to make use of your psychology degree to help improve the living conditions of the less fortunate? If you have a passion for helping the growth of humanity, you may want to look into TEACH FOR MALAYSIA, an independent NGO striving to provide education to those who don’t have the same privileges we do.

Teach For Malaysia recruits, selects and trains graduate students who are passionately-driven and have the heart to bless others through their work. They work hard to provide education to the 75% of Malaysian children who are not educated. Their job is to locate these children/teens and send them to schools located around Malaysia where they have eligible teachers to guide them. Teach For Malaysia trains and sends their BEST teachers to the classes who need them the most.

Teach for Malaysia booth. Photo credit: Jes-si Lee

Interested? How then, can you be a part of Teach for Malaysia? If you have not graduated, don’t fret. They are also looking for undergrads to be Campus Leaders whose job is to find people who are interested to join this movement.

According to a Teach For Malaysia representative, about 30% of their employees are from a psychology background. So don’t worry, there is a specialized niche for you!

Internship programs are the best way to gain experience before you finally venture out into the working world in a more specialised field. If you plan on doing your Masters in Clinical Psychology or Counselling, it is a good idea to have a couple of years of working experience before jumping straight into another few years of studies, especially if you are still unsure which pathway is your calling.

Therefore, my takeaway message is this: if you are a university student and you haven’t decided on what career path you would wish to head towards, don’t panic. There is still time for you to thoroughly think about your various options, for believe me, when there is a passion in your heart to serve, there will be an opening for you in whichever field you do want to venture into.

If you do end up hating your first job, don’t curse your life! This is only a stepping stone for you to work your way up to wherever you want to go! The one piece of advice I never hesitate to reserve is this: never settle for less! On the other hand, don’t give up too easily. Put in your best work, and your efforts could be recognised someday.

Leave a comment