One of the first two alumni presented in this series of Alumni of Psychology is Fabiola Müller. She graduated from the master Health Psychology in 2013. She works as a PhD-student at the University Medical Center in Groningen (UMCG) and defended her thesis on Tuesday 11 September 2018. She studied cancer-related fatigue in a couples’ context, focusing on daily cognitions and partner behaviors.
How long did it take to find your first job?
I have successfully applied for my current job at the end of my Master education. As I knew that I wanted to continue doing research in Health Psychology, I started early to monitor job opportunities on websites such as academic-transfer.com. While I was finalizing my Master thesis, I was accepted for my current position as a PhD student in Health Psychology at the University Medical Center in Groningen. My research is in the field of Psycho-Oncology. Specifically, I studied how cancer patients and their partners cope with cancer-related fatigue in daily life. Currently, I am finalizing my thesis, which I will defend in September 2018.
What are your tasks and responsibilities?
As a PhD student, I mainly conducted research-related task, such as recruiting participants, analyzing data, writing manuscripts and presenting my research at (inter-)national conferences. I also followed courses to develop and further my knowledge about topics relevant to my PhD project (e.g., oncology, statistical analyses of daily diary data). Further, I had the opportunity to work for 4 months at the University of British Columbia, Canada, to analyze the data for my PhD project together with experts in the field. I also did some teaching to first year medical students in Health Psychology and Communication Skills.
I really enjoyed working as a PhD student as it allowed me to contribute to the body of evidence in my field and to clinical practice. What also speaks to me is having the opportunity to continually develop new skills, gain more knowledge and to meet and collaborate with (inter-)national experts.
What have you taken along your study which you now profit from?
My Master’s education prepared me excellently for my current PhD position. I gained relevant theoretical knowledge about Health Psychology as well as basic statistical and methodological skills. Further, I chose to write my Master’s thesis in the form of an academic article, which was a good preparation for writing manuscripts during my PhD. Next to my Bachelor and Master, I was also working as student assistant in statistics, SPSS and methodology, which was a good preparation for the statistical analyses needed for my PhD project.
What do you hope to achieve in your career?
I plan to continue conducting research on the field of Psycho-Oncology. Specifically, I am interested in how cancer patients and their close ones adapt to the cancer experience and related interfering symptoms. I am eager to contribute to the understanding of and fostering the well-being of cancer patients, their partners and families. After having defended my PhD, I will continue my work on the well-being of cancer patients as a research fellow at the Quality of Life Office at the University of Sydney, Australia.
If you think about your study time, which memory comes to mind?
I remember many hours of reading articles, reviewing lecture slides and studying for exams. And I hold dear memories of the time I spent with my fellow students, especially my colleagues from the student assistantship.
Which tips and tricks would you like to give to current students?
Working as a student assistant helped me identify my interest in research. Through the contact with other students interested in statistics and research methods, my ambition to pursue a PhD developed. Therefore, I can recommend all students to talk with as many fellow students as possible to get inspiration for a possible career after having finished the degree in Psychology.
Fabiola graduated writing a masterthesis in which she studied the role Gaming Type [GT] plays in developing problematic gaming behavior [PGB].Find her masterthesis here:
Her PhD thesis is available in the database of the University of Groningen:
Any questions to Fabiola?
This alumni has given the opportunity to answer questions about his/her work. If you have a question you are invited to mail this questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our moderator will bring you in touch with the alumni, who will answer your questions. For direct career opportunities you are advised to get in touch with the Human Resources department of the employer.
Get in touch!
Do you know someone who has a nice job, has an inspiring career of otherwise is interesting to join the Humans of Psychology series? Please get them in touch with us. To be able to keep this series going more alumni are needed.
Published: September 3rd, 2018