The second session of the day was hosted by PCL’s Marketing and Business Development Manager Anna Pettinger. A topic often overlooked by MSc courses, Anna discussed best practice for how students could build networks, promote their research and engage with the industry. This not only has significant and ongoing benefits to their professional standing but can help them understand how promotion can improve participant recruitment and publicly disseminate results to those who would benefit from them the most.

After a short break, the professional skills event resumed with Junior Consultant Psychologist Preeya Patel’s session on Profile:Match2. Guiding the students from PM2’s theoretical underpinnings through to it various report iterations, Preeya provided the students with valuable insight into assessment functionality and how it aligns with the academic literature on personality. This session was particularly important given many would be incorporating PM2 into their research designs.

After lunch, the day continued with PCL Chief Psychologist Gillian Hyde’s presentation on consultancy. This session gave the SSP students a valuable insight into the world of consulting and the various ups and downs practitioners can expect to encounter. This not only provided them with information relevant to their post-MSc employability, but also helped them consider how their research project could be enhanced by incorporating methods and mindsets more commonly applied in consultancy.

Gillian’s session also helped emphasise the important role a dissertation could play. Occupational Psychology MSc courses are broadly standardised by British Psychology Society guidelines on content and format. This means dissertations can serve two key additional functions for students: (1) to illustrate their unique disciplinary interests, and (2) to showcase their skills and knowledge to potential future employers. The latter is a key justification for Gillian’s session on consultancy; encouraging students to also think like a practitioner can be hugely advantageous to their next career step.

The event concluded with a session on PCL research delivered by PCL’s Principal Research Psychologist – Dr Simon Toms. This session built on the various elements of the previous assessment-specific sessions by exploring how they have been used by PCL and its associates in a wide range of research applications. In addition to the interesting insight drawn from these projects, this offers an opportunity for students to better understand the lessons learned and obstacles encountered by previous researchers, many of whom took part in former SSP cohorts.

The Professional Skills Event provides a great opportunity for PCL to engage with the successful applicants of the SSP, but the interaction doesn’t stop there! PCL provides ongoing support to students that extends from the identification of research goals through to the public dissemination of research findings and beyond.

If this cohort replicates the success experienced by previous SSP students, 2021 is set to be another exciting bumper year for PCL research, so make sure you stay tuned!

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