My Occupational Psychology Internship

September 24th, 2013 by Sarah Green Leave a reply »

As an undergraduate psychology student at the University of Nottingham about to embark upon my final year, I was keen to secure myself work experience amongst experienced psychologists. The previous year, I had taken the decision to extend my degree by adding a year of study in a Mexican business university. It was while completing my year abroad that I discovered Zircon’s website. Zircon was exactly what I was looking for. I found myself gripped by one of their blog entries – ‘Are Competency Interviews Valid for Graduate Assessment?’ Following links back to their home page, I read how Zircon was a team of Business Psychologists who had a focus on Talent Management. Immediately, I knew that this was where I wanted to work. Working with Zircon would not only complement my study of psychology and business perfectly, but would give me real experience in the corporate world of Occupational Psychology.

After sending an enthusiastic cover letter along with my CV, I heard back from Katie Bissell who offered me a telephone interview upon my return to England. I was absolutely thrilled to be given this opportunity. After two telephone interviews with both Katie and Jade Bennett (both trainee Business Psychologists), and a chat with the Director of the company Sarah Linton, I was offered a two and half week placement in September. I was delighted with this news and couldn’t wait to start!
On my first day I was introduced to the Zircon team of Business Psychologists who gave me a warm welcome and briefed me on what I would be doing. Dr Amanda Potter, founder and Managing Director of Zircon, informed me that I would certainly not be making any cups of tea. She was right! I was put to work straight away creating definitions of some competencies that were integral within the business of one of Zircon’s client companies. As the day progressed I quickly established just how much I was going to gain from the placement.

Some of the work I have enjoyed the most has included psychometric mapping of specific ‘How Factors’ to Competencies. I have also helped with the screening process of Trainee Business Psychologists. This really exemplified to me the skills needed to succeed in the world of Occupational Psychology. Proofing an array of reports and presentations has enabled me to read fascinating material that I would not otherwise have had access to. Further to this, I have loved getting involved with Zircon’s current piece of white paper research ‘The Challenges Faced by HR and Talent Directors’. This is an insightful and evaluative piece of writing that I am sure will be a huge success.

I would like to thank Zircon for really getting me involved with the fantastic work that they are doing. From day one I have left the office feeling like I have made a real positive contribution. I have constantly been engaged with a stream of interesting and diverse tasks. It has also been a brilliant introduction to an office environment as well as a valuable insight into a successful and entrepreneurial business. The opportunity to ask endless questions has also been something I have taken advantage of!

Thank you Zircon!

Written by Caroline Floyd, September 2013

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