Erasmus+: Erasmus Mundus
Last updated on: Wednesday 13th of February 2019
I graduated from the WOP-P programme in July 2018, my home university was the University of Valencia (Spain) and my host university was the University of Coimbra (Portugal). I completed my internship at Organization and Management Solutions (OMS) at the University of Guelph (Canada). I am now working in consulting in Johannesburg, South Africa. I could not recommend the WOP-P master’s programme enough, as it turned out to be the best training I could have ever expected. What sets this programme apart from other graduate programmes in WOP psychology globally is the equal focus on theoretical knowledge, practical skills and critical soft skills needed to be a top performing practitioner in the field. It also provides students with exceptional personal growth and an international perspective.
In terms of theoretical knowledge, I was amazed at the diversity of topics that we were exposed to within WOP psychology. We not only learned the foundational theories that shaped the discipline today, but we also learned invaluable modern theories, models and techniques that are vital in understanding human behaviour at work from experts in these fields. The education students get through this programme is unparalleled. We learnt theories about leadership, motivation, models to measure organizational culture, how to measure interventions statistically, how to design selection systems, change management frameworks, evidence-based management, psychosocial risk analysis and experiential learning to change attitudes (to name a few).
In addition to the excellent theoretical training we get, we also learnt how to apply work psychology to real organizational problems by doing many “consulting” assignments in groups where we were expected to design an intervention, training, workshop, proposal or new system to help an organization to be more effective. The programme simulates a consulting environment, where you are taught how to produce good quality solutions in short time frames in multicultural teams. Within this environment, you learn how to navigate cultural differences and how to use this diversity to enrich your ideas. You also learn some aspects of professionalism and how to manage your time.
The professors in the programme are some of the most revered in the world in their fields. This gives students the opportunity to contribute to important areas of WOP psychology through joining the research teams of these great researchers through their master’s thesis. I found that the professors in the programme were not only excellent researchers and academics but were some of the best teachers I have ever had in my academic career. They always found interactive, creative and energising ways to impart their knowledge onto students. In addition to the professors in the programme, we were also lucky enough to have many experts in various fields (such as training design, knowledge management and virtual work teams) flown into Valencia/ Coimbra to teach us about their topics.
Doing this programme has been hugely impactful for me both professionally and personally. Professionally, now that I am working in consulting, I really feel well equipped to tackle any project that I am put on (from workshop design, doing needs analyses, designing performance management systems to running engagement surveys). I also feel as if the new techniques and methods I learned in the master’s programme have been invaluable for the company I am working in as I have incorporated these into various projects and it has enhanced the service we give to our clients. For example, I incorporated a technique we learned in the programme called “appreciative inquiry” into a workshop I did with managers and it worked brilliantly in helping these managers with their strategic planning for the upcoming year.
Personally, living in three different countries and getting to know 17 different nationalities through the course of the programme gave us all immeasurable personal growth and deep friendships that we will have forever.
If you are considering the WOP-P programme, I strongly recommend that you apply, and enrol if you get in. It will be hard work, but it will no doubt be two of the best years of your life.
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