“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” This famous quote by Randy Pausch (author of The Last Lecture) reflects my feelings at the time I first fully comprehended how strenuous the MAEC Practicum requirements were going to be. In spite of early planning and preparation, one can be caught off guard by unexpected obstacles and life events that threaten to sabotage those careful and thoughtful plans. Staying positive and maintaining confidence in one's self is crucial, throughout the practicum period, to push through to a winning end.
Trying to strike a balance between the busy life of a full time secondary teacher in Hong Kong and satisfying family responsibilities is challenging, made even more so with the additional burden of organizing individual and group counselling sessions, meeting with a supervisor and group mates, attending lectures on different counselling related topics, and handling other less predictable but no less demanding events and incidents that intervene.
With unyielding support from my practicum supervisor (Dr. Man) and the camaraderie of my cohort, the once daunting challenge became manageable. The pace of my practicum journey has quickened, from a slow start to an accelerated finish. The journey has provided me with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills in counselling I have acquired and along with the guidance and advice of my mentor to help clients overcome difficulties in their lives. It has been a truly eye-opening experience! The cards have been played.
After being a professional accountant for over 20 years, I treasured the experience of the MA(EC) programme, and started my second career after my graduation in 2018. I loved the practicum arrangement, and had the chance to offer counselling services to everybody from children to adults, in a secondary school, an NGO, and a SEN centre at EdUHK. I was also able to work as a part-time research assistant at EdUHK whilst I studied the MA(EC). I was luckily to be involved in projects for students with special educational needs.
After graduating, I started a new journey at an NGO, Enlighten Hong Kong Limited, which aims to support those affected by epilepsy. I now provide counselling services to members and their caregivers to soothe the emotional distress caused by epilepsy. I am so happy that I can use the things I learned in the MA(EC) programme in my new position.