Jiří Valášek: I always wanted to help people

Jiří has always known that his future lay in psychology. “I always wanted to help people,” he explains, “I believe in the good in people and that everybody needs to compensate for their behavior in some way."

At just 15 years old Jiří made the decision to transfer to a British High School with the intention of continuing his studies in the English educational system. When the time came to select a University, Jiří chose to study his Psychology Bachelor’s Double-Degree at UNYP, impressed that UNYP offered an American education, while allowing him to remain in Prague. The diploma he received from UNYP then facilitated the next step in his plan, continuing his studies in the US. "When I had an American diploma that was recognized internationally, it was so much easier for me to apply to schools in the United States”.

Now studying Clinical Psychology at New York’s New School for Social Research, he’s satisfied with how his education is progressing, “In the US they consider mental health as important as physical health.” American life seems to be suiting Jiří, “the life in New York is harder, because people are more competitive and in order to succeed you need to be focused, but it’s a really wonderful city and the vibe is so inspiring.” Jiří also embraces the American emphasis on extra-curricular activities. While at UNYP he completed several hospital internships and has also volunteered his time, working with people with schizophrenia at an Eset-Help center. He also completed a year-long internship in neuropsychology at Prague’s Nemocnice na Homolce and still found the time to serve as president of UNYP’s Psychological Society.

Due to graduate in 2016, Jiří is showing no signs of slowing down and is now considering his Ph.D studies. There’s no doubting he has chosen a career path that he is passionate about, when asked what one needs to succeed as a psychologist Jiří says “you need to have a clear vision and be focused on what you really want. You are hearing about the worst things that are happening in the world and you need to have some sort of inner strength as well."

When reflecting on his time at UNYP Jiří says “UNYP offers the opportunity to really focus on what you want, because you can take some classes, but you don’t have to take all of them, and the international background opens your mind, it gives you another perspective on how life can perceived.” He also mentions that UNYP helped him improve soft skills like time management and critical thinking.” He doesn’t forget to credit his professors, “you feel the personal approach a lot, and talking with so many professors helps you to establish what you want to be and which field you want to go into. The professors at UNYP were definitely the deciding point for me in what I want to do, and they helped me to develop my goals more clearly.”

And what advice does Jiri have for UNYP students? “Keep your GPA as high as possible, talk to the professors and be active as you can, because it is all about you,” Jiří summarizes, “you will get the most out of your studies at UNYP when you are active in the lessons and when you are discussing things with the professors, not only will this help you to get more from the class, but it will help you find out more about who you are and who you want to be in the future."

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