Bethany Delaveau (Willis)

Bethany Delaveau (Willis)

Master of Arts in Psychology student
Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Psychology

Deciding to study psychology was the right choice for her, says Bethany Delaveau (Willis)  who completed a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Psychology, and is now enrolled in a Master of Arts in Psychology.

“I’ve enjoyed the challenge of learning and developing a greater understanding of people, of Aotearoa and of the world. AUT has offered me access to knowledge that has changed me entirely from the person I was before I walked into my first lecture.

“Once I finish my postgraduate study, I hope to find a role where I can continue researching, ideally somewhere with a focus on social justice and reducing inequities here in Aotearoa.”

Discovering her own potential
After initially choosing AUT because of its reputation for being inclusive, hands-on and student-focused, Bethany says her undergraduate degree showed her her own potential and inspired her to continue into postgraduate study.

“Each grade and achievement throughout my courses in my Bachelor of Arts was a surprise but each showed me that I was good at this, and so I’ve taken that and run with it. I decided to continue into the Master of Arts because I didn’t want to leave. I felt that I didn’t know enough yet.

“Throughout my studies, I’ve also been lucky enough to be awarded a few AUT scholarships for academic achievement, including a summer research scholarship, postgraduate scholarship and postgraduate research scholarship.”

She would highly recommend AUT’s Master of Arts in Psychology to other students.

“It has been more of a challenge than I could have anticipated, but it offered me exactly what I wanted – more knowledge and the ability to focus my efforts into what I’m most interested in and passionate about. I’d recommend the programme because it has placed me exactly where I wanted to be. I’m now more experienced and ready find a role more tailored to my interests and the skills I’ve gained.”

Exploring economic inequality
For her Master of Arts research, Bethany is taking a closer look at economic inequity, under the supervision of Dr Jay Wood and Dr Erik Landhuis from AUT’s psychology department.

“My research has a focus on the factors that can prevent people from opting to reduce inequities. I chose to research inequality because I’m very passionate about social justice and want to contribute towards reducing the unfair differences here in Aotearoa. My hope is that my research could eventually help inform policy and any further research in the area.”

Her research journey hasn’t been without challenges, she admits.

“The biggest challenge I faced throughout this degree was facing the reality of inequality in Aotearoa. It can be so disheartening. However, gaining insight to inequality is so important and this degree has given me the opportunity to better understand how we approach inequality and therefore improve it. Alongside this, writing a thesis is a mammoth undertaking; it’s a lot of work and that at times can be lonely! So, throughout the process I’ve had to quiet my imposter syndrome and find confidence in my work while also finding ways to complete my work that really supports what I’m hoping to achieve.”