Interview for the Guardian

november1. Why did you want to go back to Uni? “My career life conspired in such a way that all my jobs were therapy related. And in 2003 I was working in a therapeutic community and so it made sense to do a course that would accredit me as a psychotherapist”
2. Why did you chose Goldsmiths? Was is part time or full time? “I initially got accepted into the Institute of Psychiatry MSc CBT to start in the autumn 2003 but the director of the course went off work suddenly because of sickness and so the course did not run in 2003.  Now I had secured funding for the course and so the funding would be withdrawn if I could not find an alternative place.   In a knee jerk response I quickly contacted Goldsmiths and fortunately I got accepted there for a full time MSc.”
3. What’s difficult about going to study later in life?  (commitments? expenses?  other work? etc btw how old where you in 2003?) It was difficult to manage a full time job as well as a full time course.  The option for part time study was not available but the requirement was one full day per week of teaching and supervision plus one clinical morning for seeing patients.  As I worked as the Deputy head / Acting Head of the service it made my week rather tight but then that did keep me focused on getting the assignments done on time.
4. Was anything easier second time round? (motivation? having more life experience? etc) Due to work commitments and time constraints with responsibilities, I did not waste time as I had no choice but to get the work done.  I think this is good for me as the opposite could have been true – have more time but fill it with nothing, not getting the work done
5. Has it benefitted you? (include how you now a lecturer at Goldsmiths) Yes greatly as I have worked as a Cognitive Behaviour Psychotherapist since then in both the NHS and private sectors.  I also work as a consultant for many large organisations. And yes I am now returning to Goldsmith college, University of London as a researcher and scholar!
6. How could others best prepare if they want to do postgrad course?  (general advice and tips) Passion is key – You have to have the drive to get the work done even when the week is bad.  Ring fence study time and not use the only day.  Stating to yourself that you will study for 2 hours will be more productive than staying home all day and getting nothing done! And finally get the work life balance – schedule some pleasurable activities into the week so that you can unwind and recharge!
Thank you Gavan

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