The society structure is shifting

At the recent Annual General meeting of the Psychological Society of Birkbeck committee, several changes were made to the structure of the society in order to maintain continuation of the services that the society provides to psychology students.


Our new financial leader
Laura Fernando was promoted from acting secretary to society treasurer, replacing Diana Harary in the role of managing society finances. It was felt that her business focus would benefit the society fiscally over the coming academic year after she increased the society’s income by 400% within 3 months of joining the team. Diana Harary will continue to play a role in the management of members and will mentor Laura in the role in order to ensure a smooth transition over a 12 month period until mid-2016.


outgoing chair and founder
Society chair, Zander will serve out his term, and will be replaced by an incoming chair that is yet to be determined. There are several potential candidates for the role and they are being spoken to as an ongoing concern.

Society president Darren Shaw will continue as president for a 12 month period, during which time a suitable successor will be identified and mentored into the management of the society as a charitable business. Darren will be at Birkbeck a lot less, but will continue to serve as an event’s organizer.

We spoke about the creation of an end of year event, with the date of the next one being the 4th of July 2015, the room is yet to be confirmed, Darren will keep everyone updated.

The role of secretary is to be filled at the soonest possible opportunity, but for the time being, the existing officers will manage secretarial duties as and when required. There are candidates that we are in talks with that may choose to step into the role.

Setting and achieving your academic goals


People go to university for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s for personal development, other times it’s to escape from their home life and some even return to study because they want to prove something to themselves, in order to gain confidence in themselves.

My name is Darren Shaw, I’ve been at Birkbeck since 2010, beginning my life here as a counselling student before doing a degree in the psychological sciences. At the time of writing, I am the president of the Psychological Society and I am an experienced life coach, events manager and trainer.

One of the marketing slogans that Birkbeck, University of London uses is “Change your life, get a place at Birkbeck”, I believe this is rather fitting for my areas of interest, which involve the task of setting powerfully motivating goals that move you into a place of full responsibility for your life.

A wise friend once told me, that when you are at university, you cannot have multiple things distracting you from your overall goal of completion with the best marks. He suggested to me that I don’t go to university until I felt like I could commit my mind and body to the sole task of completing my course of study. This is one of the secrets of getting to the end of the course.. being prepared to let go all else, for the sake of success, whilst at the same time, making a plan, or goal, that incorporates everything and everyone that will increase and sustain your chances of success.

Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, doesn’t win races by messing about with his goals. He knows who he is, sees what he wants and runs at it with all of his might. He doesn’t get distracted by his kids, doesn’t let his friends faze him and he runs, faster than any man or women on earth, towards the ultimate prize, the finish line. Do you think that the reason Usain keeps achieving is because he focuses only on the finish line? No, there is a bigger picture, like the one you must have if you are to smash your studies and do the best you can. So here is the question, what is that bigger picture? What is it that will make the hard slog worth it once you have completed your course of study?

What vision of your future can you design that is so powerful, that nothing can stand in your way so that you can attain your desired state, get whatever you deserve in life and be able to sit back one day, looking back and just simply saying “I did it.. I actually did it.. yay me!”


Email the author, Darren Shaw on to find out more about the events aimed at increasing your academic effectiveness