My Education: BA Psychology, University of the Philippines
My Prior Experience: I worked as a school psychologist in Headway School for Giftedness and I'm currently working as an assistant psychologist for Ateneo Center for Psychological and Educational Assessment.
My Company: My office makes psychological and educational assessments of children and adults for school requirements. Sometimes, we also have clients who need to take tests to be eligible for adoption or migration. We also handle employment exams for industry clients and local employees of the university. We also conduct admission tests for the different departments and units of the university.
Job/Career Overview: On a typical day, we serve several clients with various concerns; thus, I shall walk you through each of them one by one.
First are the referral clients, which were sent either by their school administrators, developmental pediatricians, or just by their parents. These are the children or adults who have delays in learning or problems at school and/or with their behavior. They need to be assessed to know why their learning is delayed and how this can be addressed.
As an assistant psychologist, I can administer the intelligence, achievement, and personality tests. The senior or supervising psychologists are the ones who could interview a child and his or her parents/guardians. I also check their papers, and another assistant psychologist should countercheck these. Then, If I were assigned a report to write, I would prepare the written report for their results.
The second type of clients are the business clients. Basically, there are companies who need help in assessing their prospective employees or their applicants. We give them employment exams consisting of intelligence and personality tests. We also check and countercheck their papers. Usually, the senior or supervising psychologists are the ones to do the reports.
We then have the local applicants for the university. The human resources department asks help from our unit to assess the prospective employees such as maintenance staff, office assistants, and faculty members. After administering tests, we are again in-charge of checking their papers and writing up their reports.
Finally, we have the applicants to the university for admission to the graduate degree programs. Usually, they are administered the tests in groups. We have their papers scanned and the score reports are forwarded to their respective units and departments.
More Insights: A frequent misconception about a psychologist's job is that he/she could read someone else's mind. The truth is that we are not magicians or astrologers and we could never do that. What we do is that we listen well to what the clients are saying and we try to really connect with them in the socio-emotional level. We also take note of behaviors of clients while in session as the patterns that they make could lead us to inferences about their concerns and problems.
Also, there are different theoretical perspectives and approaches in psychology and not all practicing psychologists have the same approach to treatment. Thus, not all of us are like what you see as depicted in movies or television. There is a lot more to learn before being a skilled psychologist.
I rate this career 8 out of 10.
I really love what I do now because I get to meet different kinds of people and I get exposed to different personalities. Because I like kids, I enjoy giving them tests and doing activities with them. I also like that I continuously learn new things because I need to update myself in the various tests which are available and to the different kinds of psychological or learning disorders.
However, what I might consider a disadvantage in my career is that if you are bound by a company, there is not much opportunity for advancement. It would take some time before you get a salary increase or a promotion.
Then again, if you are a psychologist with a private practice, there would not be any problem like that.
1. If you want to pursue a career like mine, you have to be really sure that you are ready to take on such responsibility. Clients entrust you with confidential information and they believe that you would be professional enough not to tamper with their test results or share this information with others who might know them.
2. You must be psychologically and emotionally ready yourself because you would have to deal with clients who are more distressed and/or mentally-challenged. You have to be stronger than them and you have to remain calm and focused.
3. You have to have a certain degree of maturity as you should not be judgmental of these people who come to you. You must be open to what they say and truly understand them.