Milesa Cepe

'Psychology is useful, relevant, challenging and has real-world applications...'

  • Milesa Cepe

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology

Master of Arts in Psychology with Distinction

Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology with Distinction

The excitement of researching a relatively new phenomenon appealed strongly to Milesa, who was keen to show how Psychology is a highly relevant subject today.

‘I was motivated to study psychology to gain a better understanding of myself and the people around me. This has been driven by my intrinsic desire for knowledge and self-discovery. I also am passionate about the welfare of vulnerable children and adults. I chose to study clinical psychology to ensure that my values aligned with my career.’

While at UC, Milesa held several jobs where her people skills were key. She was a support worker for children with autism, a therapeutic play supervisor for children with Dyspraxia, a teaching assistant at UC’s Psychology department as well as a research assistant.

Milesa has always been interested in promoting the welfare of children and adults who are vulnerable and achieved her first step towards working in the field by graduating with a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology.

During her final year, Milesa completed an internship as an Intern Psychologist at the Christchurch Men’s Prison.

‘I was involved in delivering an intensive group-based programme for high risk violent offenders. The main aim of treatment included facilitating offenders to gain insight into underlying patterns of their offending, recognise offence-related thoughts and learning skills to successfully manage high risk situations in the community. The treatment also encourages offenders to adopt more fulfilling and socially integrated lifestyles as this change inevitably creates a safer society.’

With this experience, Milesa is determined to start a career as a clinical psychologist.

‘For me being a clinical psychologist is an extremely valuable and privileging role where people express their deepest concerns, fears, and hopes and intrust us to guide them to a positive transformation.

‘I would like to work in the area of child and family because it interests me, particularly because children are in a developmental period where their behaviours can be moulded. This interest has stemmed from my experiences working with children, adolescents and families coping with dyspraxia, autism, asperger’s and having a parent in prison. However, I enjoyed my work in prison which leads me to think that I will eventually return to corrections.’

Originally from the Philippines, but having spent most of her life in New Zealand, Milesa could have studied Psychology anywhere, but says she chose UC because ‘people are so friendly. There is a real sense of community here. I have enjoyed networking across several departments. I have also enjoyed meeting people from different backgrounds and places. Furthermore, there are world-class lecturers and researchers that support our learning.’

Milesa advises Psychology students at UC to apply the skills learnt in class and from helping clients to their own lives, to make them more effective clinicians.

‘Psychology is useful, relevant, challenging and has real-world applications. A degree in this field allows you to gain a greater understanding of people. This skill is transferable and advantageous to any job setting.’

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