Interview with Cassandra Leow: Rewarding Experience in the 50th Australian Psychological Society (APS) Conference

Interview with Cassandra Leow: Rewarding Experience in the 50th Australian Psychological Society (APS) Conference

Attending Psychology conference is not only an eye-opening experience to most Psychology students, but also a platform for them to share their research ideas with others of similar research background. In the hope of getting our readers to know more about Psychology conference, our team has invited Cassandra to share her experience of being one of the presenters in the 50th Australian Psychological Society (APS) Conference! 🙂

Adapted from http://island26.com.au/

M: Hi, Cassandra. Thank you for accepting our request for this interview. Once again, congratulations on presenting your research in the 50th Australian Psychological Society Annual conference. Could you briefly share with us a little bit about your journey? How did all this happen?

C:  It began with my supervisor during thesis 1. I went to see him regarding my thesis and he told me about the APS conference happening next year (since I began thesis 1 in September 2014). He made me aim for it and encouraged me to work hard on my thesis. He even printed the details and passed it to me. I pasted it up on my study desk. I was motivated! I really wanted to go! haha.

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Photo Credit: Cassandra

M: How do you feel when you receive the news that your abstract was accepted and you get the opportunity to present your research in the conference?

C: I was so excited! even before it got announced. I checked back with them on when they’d be releasing the news, and they told me that it would be by the end of the week. I waited all week and the news was released Friday afternoon. I kept checking my email all day because I was just soooo excited! When I got the email, I remember running to my mom and was like “I GOT ACCEPTED!!!” and I was calling my sister (because she was at college) and was screaming over the phone. I also contacted my supervisor, and I couldn’t stop thanking him for his continuous guidance and support. I know it sounded like I overreacted just for a paper acceptance, but I was really, really happy about the opportunity! I really wanted to experience it. When I was in my second year and I saw seniors attending conferences, I told myself that one day I’d like to go too. So getting accepted felt like a dream come true haha!

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Photo Credit: Cassandra

M: What is so fascinating with the 50th APS Annual Conference? What is the unforgettable moment to you?

C: What’s most fascinating to me was the advancement of Psychology there. Attending the conference sort of gives me an idea of how advanced they are in the field of Psychology. There were companies there that offer listing services for Psychologists; the psychologists can pay a monthly/yearly fee to be listed under a general “search” engine so that the public may look them up should they require a psychologist specialized in a specific area. There were also so many opportunities for Psychologists there, for example APS, they had a student mentoring breakfast, whereby student would be placed with 2 mentors at their table, to answer any questions they have about becoming a Psychologist or anything under that umbrella. I think doing this is really constructive, as the more experienced professionals in the field help and inspire the younger generation whom have only just begun their journey. The mentors also shared what they do for a living, and it’s really interesting because apart from being in private practice, they are also involved in other work; one lady trains paramedics in the area of trauma and grief, and another one is a research methods consultant. This is really inspiring as it sort of encourages me to expand my horizon instead of just being in private practice.

Photo Credit: Cassandra

Photo Credit: Cassandra

M: You mentioned before that you wish the local Psychology students could at least experience an International Psychology conference once. In your personal opinion, why is it so important to participate in Psychology conference?

C: I feel that attending the conference has inspired me and broadened my horizon; it has helped me see that there is more for (Clinical) Psychologists than just private practice. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against private practice, it’s just that I like being part of something that would give me more meaning and not always being in the office. I do enjoy meeting and interacting with people, being in private practice alone feels limited. Apart from that I feel that the International conference (like I said eariler, haha), sort of gives you an idea of the advancement of the field. So when local students like us participate in an International conference (assuming that it is up to standards), there is so much to learn! like what are we lacking back home? and how can we bring this idea back home? It’s a very rich learning experience.

M: We know that you just finished your Psychology degree, so what is your next plan?

C: Currently I’m applying for a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy in the U.S. I’m staying home at the moment to prepare for the exams required for the application. Ideally, after completing my Master’s, I’d like to complete a Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy. If possible, I’d like to also continue doing research. Thank you very much for your opportunity to be interviewed 🙂

M: You’re welcome! All the best for your studies! 🙂

If you want to know more about her research, kindly click the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ngbz-XwBIb4

If you want to know more another International Conference, you can also watch our video featuring 5th ASEAN Regional Union of Psychological Societies (ARUPS) Congress here:

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Gary Yap, a HELP graduate is currently pursuing Master of Clinical Psychology in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). He loves arts and passionate in making videos. He believes that Psychology knowledge shouldn't be limited to the professionals or students in the field, and it should go beyond and expand connection to general public. To realize his responsibility as a Psychology student, he started MY Psychology with his friends in 2014. Due to the public misconceptions towards Psychology,he hopes to make Psychology more approachable and understandable to public via developing MY Psychology as an integrated platform where people can learn in multiple ways and also exchange opinions about Psychology issues in an open-minded manner. Currently, he is planning to highlight what he read from courses and books and process them into bit-size information in short and bite-size article.

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