By: Aastha Tripathi
The more that I researched grad schools and their requirements for admission, the more I became aware of the importance of having experience in my professional areas of interest.
The Applied Emphasis in a Psychology 4-year BA program here at Concordia provides students with the unique opportunity to apply their psychological knowledge as they work directly with people in settings such as recreational programs for those with serious mental illness, programs for homeless youth, preschool intervention programs, and corrections programs. My personal experience at my practicum was nothing short of remarkable. I worked with my field placement coordinator, Lillian Kennedy, to narrow down agencies in the community that best fit my interests.
Ultimately, I was placed at the YMCA Bridging The Gap (BTG) program downtown where I worked alongside a wonderful team of human service professionals to prepare youth aged 15 to 30, for employment. We worked in conjunction with other provincially funded programs to provide our clients with all of the mental health supports and physical health supports we could find. I had the invaluable opportunity of connecting with my clients and practicing in a field I am truly passionate about.
Additionally, I gained insight into how the non-profit sector operates in Alberta. While BTG has helped Alberta’s youth for the past seven years, the harsh reality of provincial budget cuts has resulted in the program being terminated. While I was deeply disappointed to see all the hard work we had done come to an end, the situation has kindled a spark in me to work towards ensuring that valued public services do
not disappear. Through the program I not only obtained skills to be “market-ready” for work in the human services field, and have become more prepared for graduate school, but I have also discovered a new passion for advocacy. If you would like to know more about the program or my experience, please feel free to stop me in the hallways or message or email me!
You can also contact Dr. Anju Anand (the new field placement coordinator) who would be happy to discuss why this program might be right for you.