19 May 2017

Dyslexia inspired him to pursue psychologyMDIS in the News

MDIS Diploma in Psychology was a “perfect fit” for Shuka Deva, who chose to complete his tertiary education in Singapore

HE WAS diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 11. But Mr Shuka Deva refused to let it affect his learning.

His mother, who first discovered that he had difficulty reading, doing mathematics and remembering details, sent him for therapy with a psychologist in Chennai everyday for one month and continued it through sessions on Skype, when they moved to Malaysia.

The family moved when his father was transferred to work in Malaysia’s Microsoft office.

Said the 18-year-old, who first went to the Madras Dyslexia Association to see a counsellor before he was referred to a psychologist: “I was taught different methods of learning and learned the techniques of putting information into different streams so I could remember them properly.”

As he was seeing the psychologist every day to improve his dyslexia, he was also “quietly getting inspired” by the therapy sessions.

“I enjoyed the way the therapist spoke to me and the methods of learning she imparted.

“Through the sessions, I realised that it’s possible to help someone do things differently if they’re not capable of doing it the normal way.”

He did some research online and decided to pursue psychology and “help others in the same way she helped me”.

The Chennai-born, who is managing dyslexia well, took his first step in learning the subject when he chose psychology as one of his modules when he was doing his IB diploma in Chinmaya International Residential School in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

“It reaffirmed my decision that I wanted to pursue this and be a psychologist at the end.”

At that time, his parents had moved to Singapore when his father received another transfer to work in Microsoft here in 2014. 

Mr Shuka, who came to Singapore only in June last year after he completed his IB diploma, was open to pursuing a diploma in psychology in a university in India.

But after he did some research on institutions in India and Singapore, he found a “perfect fit” in Management Development of Institute Singapore's (MDIS) Diploma in Psychology.

“I looked at the course curriculum thoroughly online and liked that it was short and condensed. The syllabus and modules fitted into what I was looking for.

“I also fell in love with the campus when I visited it for the first time. It is not overly big, the environment is good and I could see myself studying here,” said Mr Shuka.

He enrolled in the 10-month course in September last year. The course covers a wide range of subjects such as applied business psychology, clinical and health psychology, psychology of the individual, psychology of group dynamics and psychology and social science research. Apart from completing the modules, students also have to submit a graduation project related to what they have learned in the course.

Said Mr Shuka, who attends classes at MDIS main campus on Stirling Road: “I like the mix of the subjects. We have business with psychology, human resources and leadership with psychology and we also learn about clinical psychology. The variety gives me a good insight into the various streams so I know where my strength lies and I can pursue it after my diploma.”

The course by MDIS is designed to equip students with an in-depth understanding of psychology and the principles involved. It also enhances the effectiveness of their practical skills and techniques through action-based training.

One aspect of student life that Mr Shuka enjoys at MDIS is the group projects.

“It is always fun to work with my classmates because I learn a lot from their ideas and opinions. It allows me to contemplate on what they think and how they think differently from me.”

He also looks up to his lecturers, who he feels treat their students more like friends.

“We are very close to them, we can talk to them over lunch and they are very approachable,” said Mr Shuka.

One of those that Mr Shuka looks up to is Senior Manager-cum-Lecturer Amir Singh from the School of Psychology. He teaches him Clinical Psychology and Case Studies of Clinical Health and Organisational Psychology and Conflict Resolution.

Shared Mr Shuka: “He treats us like his own children and keeps the learning environment peaceful and calm. He is one of the lecturers I would like to stay in touch with even after the course.” 

After he graduates in July, the aspiring clinical psychologist plans to work part-time to save money for his degree, which he said he may pursue in MDIS.

From June onwards, the Diploma in Psychology will be renamed International Foundation Diploma in Psychology and the duration of the full-time course will be seven months, compared to the current 10 months.

The revised course will equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to progress to the higher diploma level. It will focus mainly in fields of applied psychology that includes organisational psychology, counselling, leadership and development, marketing and business psychology.


Source: tabla!, 19 May 2017 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction. Click here to view PDF.