Aika, thanks for making the time for this interview. Please could you introduce yourself for the members who don’t know you?
My name is Aika Hui. I’ve been born and bred in Hong Kong and am currently a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at Oxford University. In my free time, I like to pursue my non-Asian parent friendly interests of drawing, painting, illustrating, blogging and making videos.
Thanks, Aika. It’s reassuring to hear you can pursue hobbies during training! What’s your favourite part of training as a Clinical Psychologist?
My favourite part of training as a clinical psychologist is the depth, breadth and freedom to learn and practice clinical and research skills provided within the safety net of three years. It is undeniably rigorous but rotating through qualitatively very different placements, supervisors and client groups has been fascinating.
It does sound fascinating, and having seen your videos too, I’m excited to start training! Some people may not have seen your page though, so please could you tell us about @theoxfordpsych?
I created @theoxfordpsych in the summer of the first lockdown. I felt that millennials and Gen-Zers, including myself, so easily fall into the trap of one-dimensional social media versions of themselves that focus on values that can be superficial, meaningless and disillusioning. I wanted to share a different side of my life whilst providing a helping hand for the career path, a hand I wish I had whilst working in an underpaid, ‘unqualified’, psychology position.
It’s heartening to hear that you can now provide the helping hand you wish you had, especially as the rapid expansion of the psychological professions workforce, in line with the NHS Long Term Plan, means there will be more trainees looking for support. Now the first National Vision for Psychological Professionals in England has been published, i'm wondering what your thoughts are on the Vision?
I think what stood out in this vision statement is that wider psychological professions are being acknowledged. Having worked with art and music therapists before, I realised that there is a lot to learn beyond talking therapies which can help an individual psychologically, so it’s refreshing to see our colleagues being mentioned. Secondly, it’s also hugely interesting to learn what areas will benefit the most from psychological input in the future. Lastly, coming from a social media angle, I hope that those in psychological professions that may not have grown up with online platforms, will interpret the vision statement of “be flexible, brave and open minded in adapting our methods to meet changing needs” towards aspiring and future psychologists who may consider having their own psychology related social media platforms. The reach and connections are undeniably much larger than traditional routes, and when done well, it can be hugely powerful for those who are from ethnic minority or other underrepresented groups to have a sense of having a direct role model or mentor to understand psychological careers in a level of detail unprecedented in the past. It’s a steep learning curve for all, and I hope that psychology professions can catch up to our medical colleagues with using social media for positive change.
Yes, the feedback from viewers from your own and others channels really exemplifies how beneficial social media can be for positive change! Aika, on behalf of the PPN SE, we owe you a thank you for helping so many aspiring psychological professionals and a thank you for speaking with us today. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say?
Well, if you’re reading this and would like any careers guidance, your research poster shared, or any clinical psychology related conversations, message me at:
Here is what one of Aika’s followers had to say…
“I absolutely love your content! As an undergrad psychology student your YouTube channel has guided me, especially the video on career paths for psychologists as it’s so vast! Your Instagram page always reminds me of why I chose the academic journey into the psychological professions!”
You can also find out more about the Clinical Psychology profession by visiting our Psychological Professions Career Map.
Trainee Clinical Psychologist
University of Oxford