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Irina Marenica

MSc Occupational Psychology

What brought you to Birkbeck?

Oh that’s a long story! I originally completed an MSc course with a specialisation in Clinical Psychology in Latvia.  I came to the UK to pursue my career in the area of Psychology and Birkbeck seemed the perfect place to do that. As I could study in the evening, it was easier to combine both work and study. I’m sure that I wouldn’t have been able to do that with another university.

How did you find the Birkbeck Talent experience?

Initially, I received help from the Careers and Employability Service with revising my CV. I also attended several workshops, which completely transformed my views on both CV’s and networking. As soon as I registered with Birkbeck Talent shortly after, I could see they were recruiting for several relevant roles. The Recruitment Advisers also helped me to broaden my understanding of the Organisational Psychology industry and consider the type of role that would be right for me. And of course it was Birkbeck Talent that helped me to get into an amazing company, who I really enjoy working for. I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity.

You’re now working with Genius Within… What exactly is your role?

I conduct psychological assessments for individuals with neurodiversity including dyspraxia, dyslexia and ADHD, both in higher education and the workplace.  Genius Within really strives to apply the principals of positive assessment to achieve social inclusion – and that’s my passion as well. I am also currently starting to deliver coaching for people with neurodiversity. I’m really excited!

How do you find working and studying at the same time?

It is a challenge - I can’t pretend otherwise! I’ve learnt to re-prioritise, and my social life has taken a backseat for a while. I see it as an investment and it’s great to be working in the field that I am studying. Also my employer is very understanding and supportive, and they make sure that I am not too stressed out when I have deadlines at Uni. One of the good things about Birkbeck Talent is that they make it clear to the employer that we have other commitments as well as work.

What are your goals for the future?

I definitely want to continue to build my career with Genius Within. It’s going really well and I hope that my new role in coaching will also gradually expand. I’m also considering doing my PhD. One of my colleagues is doing hers at Birkbeck now, and she’s been great at giving me advice and guidance.

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