Our twelfth alumni presented in this series of Alumni of Psychology is Ronald Roskam. He graduated from the master Mental Health Promotion (now Positive Psychology & Technology) and the master Health Sciences. He works at Pro Persona and Indigo as a Mental Health Psychologist (GZ-Psycholoog), both large mental health institutions in the Arnhem/Nijmegen Area. At Indigo he is also program leader. On February 11, Ronald will speak at the Psychology Career Week 2019 @ the University of Twente in the 'Psychology Graduates: their current jobs' section, on behalf of Amygdala.
How long did it take to find your first job?
I think I was at the right place at the right time. I got a job as a psychologist at the Psychotraumacentre of Mediant GGZ in Enschede a couple of days before my graduation. The department manager complained she could not find a Mental Health Psychologist (GZ-Psycholoog). I offered myself as a candidate for the job, knowing I did not have the registration. It took her a few days to convince the other managers. Eventually, I got the job.
What are your tasks and responsibilities?
Since January 2018, I primarily work with anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma and stressor related disorders. Around 60% of my week exist of giving treatment, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). In addition, I am responsible for correctly referring the patients I consult to basic (BGGZ) or specialized mental health care (SGGZ). Finally, I am responsible for the team and future direction of Indigo in the Ede Area.
What have you taken along your study which you now profit from?
Before I entered University, I worked as a psychiatric nurse. As a consequence, I was more familiar with the practical matters than with the theoretical basis. At University, I primarily learned how to balance theory and practice; to seek evidence for the things I do in practice and integrate theoretical implications into daily practice.
What do you hope to achieve in your career?
I am currently a Mental Health Psychologist (GZ-Psycholoog). It is quite difficult to achieve that postmaster and hard work is needed to finish it. So, for now, I am taking my time to work and learn with little less courses, time investment and pressure. Yet, I stay ambitious. In the future, I would really like to enter the postmaster to Clinical Psychologist (Klinisch Psycholoog/Psychotherapeut; four years postmaster can only be entered after finishing the postmaster Mental Health Psychologist). Also, I would like to integrate doing some research, manage a department, see patients and even teach some courses, if time allows.
If you think about your study time, which memory comes to mind?
When I think about my time as a student, I think mostly of the friends I met at University, which I still have a lot of contact with. With several others, we created a small fraternity (dispuut) called MSCS, which is still going strong at the UT (though not so much seen at Psychology anymore). I primarily remember the several Kick-Ins in which some do-groups from Psychology (like MSCS and, for example, WHAP) and Educational science had small flunky ball tournaments. Those were really awesome.
Which tips and tricks would you like to give to current students?
If you want to achieve something, you should try and work for it. Although some goals might be difficult to achieve, you can definitely influence the process. For example: during your university time, you can join boards, work as a student-assistant and even volunteer at research department of mental health institutions. When you finish your studies, you will certainly notice that, at least in mental health, getting a job is difficult. Still, do not be afraid to speak with managers, call them or send them a message at LinkedIn, even when there is no vacancy. Proactivity is highly rewarded!
Ronald graduated writing two master theses. In the first thesis, for Psychology, he was the first to research assessing therapist treatment fidelity in a web-based treatment for participants coping with alcohol abuse- or addiction (www.alcoholdebaas.nl).
In the second thesis, for Health Sciences, his objective was to evaluate existing public eHealth interventions for sexual healthcare in the Netherlands and to develop an evaluation checklist to compare diverse eHealth interventions in public healthcare.
Any questions to Ronald?
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: February 4th, 2019