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Meet Mihaela Izikilova!

Why did you decide to do the IDA Master?

I decided to do the IDA Master because I liked the overarching topic of individual differences and the many possibilities it offers. The course description helped me find out that the program is the perfect fit for my broad interests in psychology and in doing research. What is more, I spoke to students who were already doing the program and quickly understood that IDA is much more than a Master program, it is a community where everyone’s opinion matters and we look after each other in order to do our best.

What has been your favourite course and why?

It is difficult to choose one because each course has offered diverse learning activities that stimulate us to actively engage with the content. However, to answer the question, I very much enjoyed the Psychometrics course because it gave us the opportunity to explore and critically compare different measurement models and complete assignments of practical value.

Do you experience stress/pressure in your studies? How do you deal with it?

Yes, I certainly do. Although it might be a challenge sometimes, I try to practice what is called “psychological detachment” 😉 , switching off from study-related topics while I am not studying. I find it very important to have some activities to look forward to in the evening after a long day of studying, be it cooking a delicious meal, plant another plant for my room, go for a walk with a friend, do some exercises, or listen to music, anything that distracts me and puts me in a good mood for the new day.

How can your knowledge from the IDA Master be useful for the real world?

The starting point of research is an observation from the real world. IDA teaches us valuable research skills and, thereby it teaches us how to be more critical of our observations and how to improve established practices. Within the program, we also have the freedom to choose many of the projects we work on ourselves, which contributes to a learning experience tailored to our individual future perspectives.

Why do you think it is important to study what you study?

Because taking a multidisciplinary perspective means getting close to reality. Reality is complex and if we want to influence it, we need to know how to approach it and gain insight from different perspectives.

What is the most fascinating thing you have learned?

How much biology shapes us into the people that we are and that even a very small genetic difference can be multiplied over time in interaction with the environment and result in large inter-individual differences.

What motivates you to keep studying?

That it opens many doors for me, not only professionally but also in terms of new ways of thinking.

How are you experiencing the relationship with your teachers?

Very positive, the teachers genuinely care about how we are doing and strive to help us out with any doubts that might arise. They are very open to our questions and receptive to our ideas and feedback.

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