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Student story

Pip Connell

20 July 2023

"Applied Psychology is a great way to combine both economics and psychology, and to be able to leave university with a definite career path..."


Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Master of Science in Applied Psychology

For Canterbury Wildcat Pip, winning a UC Foundation Sports Scholarship was a huge bonus in her master's year.

"Basketball is my main passion outside of study," she says. "Assignments and assessments can sometimes become all-consuming. I love escaping from that – when you're on the court, there is nothing else you can be doing, nothing else you can be thinking about apart from the moment that you're in. It's been so helpful, and has really made me work on, and master, time management.

"The scholarship gave me financial backing that enabled me to focus fully on training and studying. Along with this, came support from UC Sport and the Athlete Development Program (ADP). UC Sport has been great in providing access to the Power Dome, giving me a strength and conditioning programme, and offering academic support. They helped with aegrotats when I had a concussion earlier in the year, helped with goal setting, and we had catch-ups throughout the year."

Pip's career goal is to become a consultant to New Zealand businesses trying to break into the Chinese or Asia-Pacific markets. She was originally inspired to study Psychology after a lightbulb moment, and is now certain that the subject makes an ideal base for her chosen career path.

"I was reading a book by Oliver Sacks called The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales, " she recalls. "It was about the brain and developmental psychology. It was so interesting that I decided to study Psychology."

Continuing her studies at postgraduate level, she says her master's is "really, really practical" and "a great way to combine both Economics and Psychology, and to be able to leave university with a definite career path".

Pip's interest in China has been fuelled by her involvement in the MGMT 228 Chinese Business Practices and Culture (Study Tour) course.

"We got to go to Zhe Jiang University in Hangzhou and then to Shanghai. After completing the five-week course as a student I have been back once as a tour leader, and I am about to head back as tour leader again. This trip has provided me with innumerable experiences of Chinese culture, business and language."

Pip's advice to students thinking about doing a master's in Applied Psychology is to try a variety of related courses at undergraduate level and make the most of the benefits of university study.

"Before master's, take papers that you enjoy, take papers that challenge you, ask questions, talk to people in your lectures, take papers that have assignments that push you out of your comfort zone. That's what uni is for. It is the only time in your life that you get to make mistakes with very little consequence. Learn from them, grow, and fall forward."

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