Kerry Williamson

Criminal Record Officer, Ministry of Justice

Kerry Williamson

Bachelor of Arts (Business Psychology)

Master of Philosophy (Rehabilitation)

I completed my undergraduate degree at Massey extramurally in 2000. The experience was so positive that when it was time to do my Master’s, Massey was the logical choice. I completed my Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in 2014 with Distinction.

The MPhil programme was challenging, fun, difficult, exciting and life changing. It was a total shift from my previous study in commerce and psychology. I chose the degree because of the quality of the staff at Massey’s College of Health. I have never regretted my decision.

Studying at a higher level at Massey has provided an opportunity for me to get to know myself. I no longer doubt my ability as I once did to produce quality work. I know that if I don’t understand a problem or can’t point to an immediate solution, my time researching and writing my thesis has provided me with a certainty that I will find an answer that will incorporate all dimensions of the problem at hand.

By challenging my long held belief systems, I am able to look at workplace and environmental (both political and governmental) issues through a number of different lenses, pulling in a variety of information, analysing and blending concepts that provide for workable solutions. Studying at Massey has given me the ability to be more flexible in my thinking, and that allows me to be more persuasive with peers or accepting of other team members’ ideas, to create the possibility of change.

Writing my thesis through Massey has shown me I can achieve much more than I thought I could, so I now aim for roles I once thought beyond my reach. It is early days after completing my thesis but already the feedback on my CV and thesis are positive and affirming. How powerful is that?

There were two things this course taught me that changed how I see myself and my future – firstly, that I am a social constructionist/interpretivist and secondly, that research fits me like a hand in a glove – who’d have figured? 

I loved visiting Palmerston North for the block courses and sitting with my student peers discussing points of theory. It was always a thrill to meet with lecturers and other faculty staff as eager to hear about my research and findings as I was to talk about them. 

My time at Massey has changed my identity, including the way I think. I now view myself as a much more powerful woman. It has set me up to have the confidence to recognise and realise my secret and long held dream to do a PhD. I am actively encouraged by the faculty to do just that. I do not just feel supported, but championed!

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