From Rehabilitation Co-Therapist to Clinical Psychologist
Nadya started her career as a Rehabilitation Co-Therapist and cared for people who had experienced brain injuries and those who had learning difficulties. However, her dream job has always been to become a Clinical Psychologist.
Her bubbly personality, excellent therapeutic care skills and pre-existing experience in another mental health-based sector prompted her to further her career by enrolling on the MSc Applied Clinical Psychology course at the University of Central Lancashire.
Nadya loved that her teaching staff were all practising professionals and felt her tutors really cared about teaching the industry's practical aspects. They often went beyond the theoretical by sharing their insider knowledge. Something Nadya found invaluable.
Whilst on the course, UCLan supported Nadya to get an eight-month placement where she had the opportunity to build valuable experience and professional connections. Although this placement was voluntary, Nadya said the knowledge gained was worth sacrificing her unpaid time as she gained numerous priceless practical skills.
A critical assessment element of her course was the master's dissertation and Nadya spoke about the limitless benefit of having a supervisor that was also a practising Psychologist. She praised their understanding of maintaining a work-life balance and was knowledgeable in the vast array of student wellbeing support available.
Despite all the positives of the course, Nadya did have some challenging moments. For instance, her time management skills were tested at one point, but she called upon the dedicated team of support staff who specialise in helping with this kind of issue.
"I made great friends on the course, and we did our best to look after each other both personally and professionally."— Nadya Parvanova, MSc Clinical Psychology student
Prior to studying at UCLan, Nadya struggled to start her clinical psychology career so felt the course gave her the edge over other applicants. This was confirmed when she successfully gained a job not long after finishing and Nadya believes that this is due to the experience and knowledge she learnt at UCLan , as well as the compulsory placement module and the ability to help develop professional connections within the sector.
"The course gave me the motivation and reassurance I needed to keep going and I now have the theoretical knowledge and practical experience I need. I'm now getting interviews for the job I have been working towards for years.”
Stepping into the present, Nadya is working as an Assistant Psychologist in the private sector. She travels to different rehabilitation centres and supported living facilities within the North-West, helping people in all life stages. She regularly reflects on her studies and uses tools learnt to undertake her work.
When asked what advice she’d give to students, Nadya said: "Make the most of all the opportunities given to you for putting theory into practice, particularly ‘patient contact’ with medical actors. Your lecturers have been where you are and want to help. You just need to ask! Make friends, knowing the right people at the right time could mean getting the job you want in the future".
"The knowledge and experience acquired at University helped me to secure my first Assistant Psychologist position."— Nadya Parvanova, MSc Clinical Psychology student