Letters extra: Why can't I work in my chosen field?

26th September 2003 at 01:00

I graduated this year with a first class honours degree in psychology after three years of hard work. I'm not a nerd, I had a social life, contacts with the student union. I am fascinated by people; working with them is something that I have wanted to do from as long as I can remember.

In between studying I have worked as an ABA therapist, a teaching assistant, a youth-worker, a summer play schemes coordinator and a university telephone counselling service volunteer. I wanted to gain real-life experience of individuals with mental health problems and to realise my ambition to become a clinical psychologist.

Before my finals I sent my CV to over 30 hospitals and prisons around London and since then I have applied for nearly 60 Assistant psychologist and research assistant positions.

I have been to three interviews, one London prison and two London universities, and have researched and prepared and answered questions to the best of my ability. I didn't get the jobs. Better academic record? More experience? Better prepared? I phoned for feedback, I was asked to write, I wrote and still no feedback. Now here I am, 90 envelopes, pound;25.20 on stamps and a small tree's worth of paper later and I'm wondering - why?

I don't want lots of money or a high-powered job, just the opportunity to apply all this hard-earned knowledge before my head explodes.

Miss G. Smith

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