Aviva DamaniaAdult Mental Health
Initially, I chose Child and Adolescent Mental Health, but I decided to take up Adult Mental Health, a change the school where extremely helpful with.
Deciding on City
City University has a remarkable reputation. When I looked it up, City’s alumni caught my eye as I believe a strong alumni base speaks volumes of any University. The courses City offered were also exactly what I was looking for. They were so exciting that I had a tough time choosing. I had applied for similar courses in other London universities. Some accepted my application and some were still in process, so I decided to wait until I got a response from all in order to weigh my options.
On hearing from City University, I was over the moon. My Skype interview with the Programme Director convinced me I was right in my decision. Sarah was warm and reassuring. She didn’t tell me things she wanted me to hear, but told me things every student needed to hear.
Studying MSc Adult Mental Health
Initially, I chose Child and Adolescent Mental Health, but I then changed my mind and decided to take up Adult Mental Health, a change the school where extremely helpful with.
The classes were very practical and interactive. Every class ended with a session where one student would talk about their work and experience in the field, which was followed by lengthy discussions. I spoke about a patient I was counselling, describing the symptoms, diagnoses, treatment plan and difficulties I faced. Opinions were shared in the context of where the students came from and what the protocol would have been in their workplace. I found that so eye opening and helpful! The class comprised students from all over the world, so I got a wide holistic perspective on the working of healthcare systems of different countries.
Studying in London
I have visited London many times on holiday so I was comfortable coming here to study. I didn’t think I could love London more than I did until I actually lived here. The quality of life in London is superior to every other city I’ve visited. The public transport is convenient and efficient. It was so easy to travel around London, and also to travel to Europe! Life was the perfect balance of work and play.
Since London has people from different cultures and a flow of international students, it serves as a culture hub to interact with different people. A lot of perks come with being a student in London, in terms of concessions for travel, food, and even shopping. A student’s life abroad can be a series of ups and downs, but fortunately for me it was only ups, the university and students’ union going the extra mile to help resolve any issues that I faced.
I now work as Corporate and Workplace Wellness Manager with the Pittie Group in Mumbai and also as a part-time Psychologist at CritiCare Multispeciality Hospital and Research Centre.
As an Industrial Psychologist, I ensure that employees are satisfied at work and in their personal lives. I work with them in solving emotional conflicts and act as a support system. A typical day sees me visiting different offices and holding individual as well as group counselling sessions, depending on the requirement.
The satisfaction I get from knowing that my session has brought some level of relief to employees is what drives me. In our fast-paced and demanding life, mental health tends to get neglected. Being an instrument of aid to those who need it is what makes me enjoy this job so much.
City helped me discover my true potential. As a program representative, there was always a lot of interaction with professors, students and other officials, allowing me to develop effective communication skills and become much more self-effacing. I got a number of employment offers in Mumbai as soon as I returned and secured a job in a matter of days.
Advice to Current City Students
My MSc course was only one year long and ended before I even realised. Current and future students should make the most of their time because their university life will be over before they know it. Take part in every out-of-class activity, engage with different communities and unions and access the support services that City offers. Embrace the student life that City offers!