MSc in Work and Organisational Psychology / Behaviour – Reflective Journal
I was a student on the MSc in Work in Organisational Psychology/Behaviour with DCU Business School throughout 2017-2019, graduating with a first-class honours in 2019. Almost two years since graduating, this was a welcome opportunity to reflect on that journey and how this programme has shaped my approach to work and my career.
I was at the beginning of my career in quality assurance and enhancement in higher education when I applied for the master’s programme in 2017. I pursued the programme from the outset because I wanted to progress my career with a strong foundation in leadership, motivation and strategy theory and practical skills. Four years since I initially applied for the programme, I am now using the knowledge and skills I acquired to establish a new team in my organisation.
My previous studies were also in psychology in NUIG, so it’s not surprising that I loved learning the theory around organisational psychology and work motivation. I often find myself returning to look at theoretical models when I need to think critically about organisational dynamics and how to engage and motivate my peers in projects. Key takeaways from our talent management, systemic coaching and strategy modules have informed my work at a national level including publication in Ireland’s Yearbook of Education 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 editions.
My thesis was, without a doubt, my favourite piece of work to complete as part of the programme under the supervision of Prof Finian Buckley. It was a challenging piece of work but also hugely rewarding as I came away feeling like I had had masterclasses in my own discipline from conducting interviews with leaders in my field and analysing the findings. The process generally gave me the opportunity to position my professional role within the organisational literature and contextualise what I had been studying in a hands on, tangible format.
On a more personal note, I found that the programme gave me a stable base to build my confidence in the early stages of my career when I was trying to carve my own professional identity and career path. Getting to study and engage in lively discussions and debates with peers across a huge variety of careers and experience was fantastic and was a springboard for both life-long friendships and a diverse professional network.
Overall, I found the course incredibly engaging and the faculty, with particular thanks to Prof Yseult Freeney and Dr Lisa van der Werff, hugely supportive throughout the two years and beyond. It has given me the combined theoretical and practical foundation that I was seeking to underpin the next phase of my career and also expanded my personal and professional networks.
Wishing the best of luck to future cohorts!
Author: – Ruth Ní Bheoláin, Quality Assurance and Enhancement Manager, Hibernia College
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