A UG alumna’s story: From the classroom to working as Psychologist and Coach
Bianca, what you are currently doing and how did you get there.
I graduated from the University of Groningen in 2019 where I completed both my BSc in Psychology and MSc in clinical psychology. When I finished my master, I had already been living here for more than 5 years so I decided to call Groningen home. I believed clinical psychology appealed to me the most, partly because the clinical knowledge helped me overcome my own life challenges as an expat but also because it has taught me how to reach deeper levels of empathy towards people and how to observe and be present (aspects that turn out to be particularly useful in my work). While studying for my clinical master I started working as a Recruiter and Business Support at a transport company located in the North of the province. There, I worked alongside my studies, almost full-time. My job was fun! Within the organization, I looked at aspects such as the performance, motivation, job satisfaction, well-being of its employees, as well as how those aspects can be measured and assessed. I found the most satisfaction in creating solutions for the well-being of the employees. After almost four years of recruiting and building teams in the Netherlands, I aspired for a professional change that would allow me to help and understand people more directly. Becoming a psychologist seemed to tick the boxes and fit the challenge.
Now, I am working as Basis Psycholoog (Psychologist) and Coach at Inter-being Groningen where I provide therapy, counseling, and coaching. I support international students, and expats in dealing with cultural adaptation, identity issues, and emotion regulation, which I really enjoy, and I look forward to expanding my skill set further. In addition to all this, I am currently following two additional coaching and therapy training programmes: a coaching specialization in stress and burnout and psychotherapy education in family therapy and systemic practice. Our team consists of 7 international psychologists and I work closely with the main practitioner, a GZ-psychologist.
As a psychologist and coach, I work client-centered, which means that I aim to know each person and build a collaboration based on trust and acceptance. I would really suggest checking out the NIP Page about what you can do in the Netherlands with a master’s in clinical psychology.
I believe the University of Groningen created an excellent international environment. Indeed, I worked with people from all different kinds of backgrounds and nationalities which helped me develop my skills to approach every person as a unique individual, adapt to different teams and working situations. I would say that for my current job the communication skills course and the cognitive-behavioral techniques were the most helpful.
If you would give your former student self a piece of advice, what would it be?
During my studies, I remember feeling a strong pressure of deciding on one career path out of many amazing opportunities. Too many options, too little time to explore. Deciding on one seemed like losing all the other options. Later, I realized we can always create opportunities and make a different choice. As a psychology graduate, we can choose many jobs either within the mental health industry, in business and or even in educational settings. My biggest insight: I realized what were my core values, qualities, and that I could match them with my professional aspiration to work as a psychologist.