Dr Izel Caliskan - Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Current job title: Clinical Psychologist in Children’s Cancer
Who did you find inspiring at UCL and why?
Nick Midgley (Professor of Psychological Therapies for Children and Young People in the Research Department of Clinical, Educational, and Healthy Psychology). I was always inspired by Nick’s kindness and commitment to supporting children and families.
What is your fondest memory of your time here?
My fondest memory will be the tea breaks at the lovely Anna Freud Centre back when I was doing my MSc back in 2015. We would get together for biscuits and tea in between lectures - continuing our rich discussions and broadening each other's perspectives. We shared a lot of laughter and cut many birthday cakes together. I learned so much from my cohort at that time.
How did your UCL degree help you get to where you are now?
My degrees at UCL gave me continuous passion to dedicate myself to innovation within healthcare and education. Conducting my doctoral research in paediatric psycho-oncology gave me further passion to dedicate my career to supporting children and young people with cancer and their families. The education, research skills as well as the networking connected me with many leaders within the field of mental health, inspiring me to push myself and giving me the confidence to do so. I can also say that the Clinical Psychology Degree made me an effective multi-talker, learning to juggle many valuable and demanding roles at once - this is a skill that is really helpful for the leadership roles I have been taking.
What have been your career highlights?
One of my biggest career highlights has been returning to the UCL classroom as a Visiting Lecturer - it is so rewarding to be able to learn from and teach post-graduate students. Another career highlight is my current role at King’s College Hospital where I am developing a psychology service within children’s cancer.
What would be your advice for current students?
Connect with people you can openly share your struggles with, not just your achievements. Many of us will be international students trying to adapt to a new place, managing demanding courses, assignments and exams as well as other life commitments. Look after your mental wellbeing and look at what kind of resources/student support services UCL offers (even before you start).