SGPsychStud: Having a Mentor for Your Psychological Journey

I have first mentioned about networking on a July 2013 post.  Since early 2015, I have been advocating the idea of building your network as one of the most important factors to build your psychological career.  It has been mentioned throughout these posts:

Jobs (Part 8): Summary + Major reason for expanding your network (January 2015)
SGPsychStud: Applying I/O Psychology Knowledge to Get a Job (April 2015)
SGPsychStud: Staying Competitive in the Psychology Job Market as a New Graduate (May 2015)
SGPsychStud: Career Planning for a Psychological Career (Part 1) (October 2015)
SGPsychStud: Career Planning for a Psychological Career (Part 2) (October 2015)
SGPsychStud: Career Planning for a Psychological Career (Part 3) (October 2015)
SGPsychStuff @ UniPsych Symposium: Why should you be coming to UniPsych Symposium (July 2016)

Image Credit: http://dab.25stories.org/256
For undergraduate studies, students may have to find their internships themselves, which can be quite challenging in the first place with no connections at all.  Internships, though recommended, also tend not to be compulsory by the local universities.  With the current financial situation in the market now, companies and organisations may not take up too many interns or even any interns at all.
Networking at every possible event is a good thing to do, but purely attending events with no interactions or/and having shallow conversations with the psychologists and other professionals may not be very beneficial at all, even if you may have connected with them via social media for future communications.

So what may be a better method to have a deep and longer lasting relationship with the professionals?
Recently, a student came to seek advice, and the topic of mentorship came up, which we discussed as a good alternative to the traditional methods of networking.
Image Credit: http://www.efccl.org/mentoring/
Why is having a mentor a good idea?
Like internship, it allows you to have a connection with the mentor/s, which can be developed into a long-term mentor-student relationship.  However it reduces time and financial load on the mentor/s and organisation/s.  The mentor and mentee can arrange to meet a few times a year, with communication to be done online.  The mentor can also guide you along in your psychological journey, and possibly introduce you to more professionals and the real sights of the psychology industry.

Do find a good mentor! Here are some websites with some tips:
1) https://www.fastcompany.com/3052068/know-it-all/8-successful-people-share-how-not-to-find-a-mentor
2) https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/249950

Which Australian university should I go to for my undergraduate psychology degree?

Image Credit: http://www.psychologycouncil.org.au/course-search/singapore/
The above is the pathway for all those who plans to be registered in Australia as a psychologist.

I spoke to some students interested in studying psychology in the last week and they asked a similar question:
Which Australian university should I go to for my undergraduate psychology degree?
Step 1: Understanding Yourself
Understand which areas of psychology you are interested in.  You may look up and read the respective pages in the Australian Psychological Society (APS) website to learn about the areas of psychology.  These areas are the areas of practice endorsements as shown in the image above.

Step 2: Knowing APAC
First and foremost, I would introduce the APAC (Australian Psychological Accreditation Council) and they have the list of accredited programs in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia, which includes all accredited undergraduate and postgraduate programs.  APAC allows you to switch universities from undergraduate level to postgraduate level as a result of their accreditation of the programs, which truly embodies the quote of:
"All schools are good schools"
Read this to know more about APAC.

Step 3: Identifying universities of interest
After identifying areas of psychology you are interested in (Step 1), you can go through the list of universities in the different countries (Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia) and states in Australia.
 My tip is to go through all of them and have a brief look at the postgraduate programs offered by all the universities.
From APAC website: Click the Country (Blue Arrow) and/or Australian state, followed by the Postgraduate Courses (Red Arrow)
Clicking on Postgraduate Courses will bring you to the postgraduate programs offered by the universities.  An example would be: the APAC-accredited postgraduate programs offered in Singapore  (link: http://www.psychologycouncil.org.au/course-search/singapore/#5th)
You can identify possible universities by seeing which universities offer the areas of psychology (in their postgraduate programs) that you are interested in.
You may ask why postgraduate programs?
The postgraduate programs offered are an indication of the specialities that their professors, in the respective universities, major in.  It implies that you will be learning from the best and well-respected academia in Australia, by undergoing the undergraduate and possibly the postgraduate degrees in the universities.  Why not learn from the best?

Step 4: Making your choice
After identifying the universities that are aligned to your areas of interest, you may then consider the following (not in any specific order):
  • Annual tuition fees of programs
  • Scholarships available (which means reduction of fees)
  • Advanced standings or module exemptions available (if you are articulating from the diploma level) to help you reduce the study time in the university
  • Accommodation (on-campus or self-rental) and surrounding factors, i.e. transport and accessibility, surrounding facilities, etc.
  • Summary accreditation reports by APAC (to assess the quality of universities and programs by the APAC standards)
  • Entry requirements (the minimum 'A' level grades or Polytechnic GPA results to enter the programs)
So, have you made your choice?