Being in-between my Psychology undergraduate course and Occupational Psychology masters, I decided to gain some work experience within Business Psychology. I felt gaining some work experience at this stage would show me the type of work occupational psychologists carry out on a day-to-day basis, and whether I could see myself doing it in the future. I was fortunate to be offered a two week internship at Zircon commencing late July 2011.
I was apprehensive about what to expect at first, as I had never studied any aspects of Occupational Psychology in my undergraduate degree. Hence I had no idea what the Zircon team would have in store for me! So there I was on my first day outside Zircon’s gates thinking how beautiful and serene the environment was. I was eager to start working with Zircon and to see how they manage to operate an award-winning business psychology business firm from such a peaceful environment.
What I did
During my time at Zircon I worked on a whole range of projects. I promptly became familiar with different psychometric tests available and when some are more suitable to use than others. I was lucky enough to be able listen in to a conference call between Zircon and PCL about Hogan psychometric tools. It was interesting to learn about the Hogan Dark Side tool, which assesses how certain strengths can become weaknesses when people are stressed or under pressure. I found this very intriguing as businesses always ask about strengths, so thinking of them as becoming weaknesses is perplexing. I also researched career development tools and methods of validating psychometric tools. Reviewed visionary and motivational interviews and developed associate guidelines for working at Zircon.
However, the project I was most passionate about during my work experience was The Zircon Green Policy. In light of the commendations Zircon has won due to being eco-friendly, I was given the task of creating and implementing a new green policy. This involved researching applicable ways in which the business can change to continually reduce their carbon footprint. It was extremely interesting to discover how many practical and simple things can be done that can make a huge difference to the environment. (For any more information on the green policy please contact the office via the details on the “Contact Us” page.)
The Zircon Team are wonderful people to work with and I’m extremely grateful for all the effort and time they’ve put in to make my work experience memorable. Thank you everyone, I immediately felt like I was part of the team and everyone was very easy to get along with. Many thanks to Melissa for looking after me for the two weeks, thank you so much for answering all my questions.
My work experience at Zircon was incredibly enlightening and enabled me to gain a vast amount of knowledge within the practical working life of Occupational Psychologists. I definitely know now that the field of occupational psychology is something I’m extremely interested in and I’m glad that I’m choosing this career path. It’s been a fantastic two weeks, and I’m sad to leave.
Written by Asha Pattni, Trainee Occupational Psychologist.