"Originally, I wanted to pursue a career in Theoretical Physics, but ended up realizing that although I admire the field, it was not a good fit for me long-term. From there, I decided to register for courses that sounded interesting – Psychology was one of them. After a few courses, I realized my interest in Forensic Psychology.
During undergrad, my favourite courses were Forensic Psychology courses and Directed Studies and Research Engagement courses. These courses allow you to work alongside a faculty member in a more intimate environment whilst learning about the research process, data collection, management, and analyses, and manuscript preparation. It’s a great way to set yourself up for an Honours Thesis, conference presentations, publications, and graduate training."
When it comes to advice for students looking to get involved, Natasha states: "Be persistent! It can take a few tries to find lab and research experience. Don’t give up! Keep showing your professor of interest that you are keen and determined to work with them. Academia requires a sense of stubbornness and grit, so surround yourself with the professors and researchers you are interested in. Also, be sure to work with people who want to work with you and see something in you. If you already have a lab position, but aren’t feeling as though you are growing in the lab and taking on more responsibility despite wanting to, it may be best to have a chat with the lab supervisor and move on to a new lab that offers more growth."
Natasha Usenko is a first-year Clinical Forensic Psychology graduate student. Natasha is currently involved with research with Dr. Kevin Douglas, where she is examining the potentially maladaptive outcomes that are associated with the construct of boldness within the context of the Triarchic Psychopathy Model (TriPM). Outside of the classroom, she has worked as a dance instructor and enjoys hiking, photography, Lord of the Rings, movies and gaming.
This post was originally posted on the SFU Psychology Instagram on December 16, 2021.