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UA Alumni - Mitali Kothari

Mitali was a Highly Commended Entrant in the Psychology category in 2020.

Since she was awarded, she has graduated with a degree in Psychology from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and is currently working as a Clinical Youth Support Worker at the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore.

What are you doing now and what has happened since the award?

A lot has happened since I received the award in 2020. I graduated with a degree in Psychology in December 2021 and am currently a Clinical Youth Support Worker at the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore.

In terms of research, I am working with the International Attachment Network and other independent researchers to investigate topics such as the importance of Supervision, Imposter Syndrome and sub-specialities of forensic psychology. I am also learning new songs and working towards a singing exam later this year, so that has been quite exciting!

What do you like the most about what you do?

I like that I get to learn something new about the human experience every single day whether that be through my work, interactions with people or by attending workshops. I feel privileged to be doing something I love, and have support from my family, friends and mentors. I feel grateful to be in an industry that lets me directly help others and make a real difference in their lives.

The most important thing that I have learned is the ability to appreciate different opinions and perspectives that people have and know that these are based on their unique experiences.

What are your plans/dreams for the future?

In the future, I want to learn as much as possible about psychology and how best to help people around me. I look forward to pursuing further education in Clinical Psychology to gain additional skills in different therapeutic modalities.

In particular, I wish to work with adolescents and young adults to help them navigate the challenges and experiences of growing up. I hope to continue volunteering at the Institute of Mental Health and other similar organizations to raise awareness about mental health.

How was your experience as an undergraduate student?

My experience as an undergraduate student was a rollercoaster of emotions, experiences and memories. I have gotten to interact with some incredible people and have made friends for life. I joined all sorts of activities from volunteering to the performing arts and even hackathons and mentorship programs. University pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and reach out to people and get things done myself, this award is an example of one of those moments! I truly discovered my love and passion for Psychology which has greatly increased over time as well.

There were definitely personal challenges along the way and certain projects and modules that were tough, but I learned something from every single one of them. Looking back, I will forever treasure my undergraduate experience, and would not trade it for anything.

What advice would you give current undergraduate students or recent graduates?

Do not be afraid to ask for help, you will be surprised at how many people face the same issues and are open to helping others. Join as many different activities as you can, and take every opportunity to learn new skills - trust me it gets a lot harder to do so once you graduate.

Grades are important, but the experiences that you have truly do matter the most. Be open to exploration, even within your field, you may discover interests and inclinations that you never imagined before. Spend time with yourself, be mindful and reflect on events and experiences during the day. Even when things are difficult, know that they will not last forever. And most importantly, have fun!

Has receiving an award for your hard work helped?

When I do research, I hope to find answers to questions I am curious about and to learn more about the human experience. Receiving the award reminded me that my research has the potential and merit to make a difference in society. It has been a great conversation starter with people and has also opened up more opportunities for the future. I have received a lot of feedback from individuals in the field as well as the chance to work with my professor to expand on my research and get my work published.

The most important thing that I have gotten from this award is that it has reinforced my belief in myself, ultimately propelling me towards achieving my goals.

Why should students submit their work?

I would genuinely encourage everyone to submit to The Global Undergraduate Awards. You have already put in the work, all it takes is 10 minutes to submit. If you are truly passionate about a topic and have put in the effort, it will show, so do not worry too much about the outcome. Regardless of whether your research paper gets shortlisted or not, I guarantee that you will have the chance to meet and work with some amazing people along the way.

You can find Mitali on LinkedIn.