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John Pinschof (BSc Psychology 1963)


I came to the UK in 1938 from Austria. most of my schooling was at John Fisher School, Purley Surrey after which I did my National Service in the Royal Ordance Corps, serving most of those two years within the Commonwealth Forces in Japan, as part of the headquarters Staff serving Korea. I am married with two daughters and four grandchildren, living a life of semi-retirement.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

It was the first University to offer me a place ! I applied as a 'mature student' which meant sitting an exams which amounted to writing two essays.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

In those days the University was small, still mostly on the London Road site. It was all compact and possible to know a large proportion of students. There was a huge range of activities and I made the most of what I could.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

First priority is work, but then make the most of all the extra-curricular activities. You will not get another chance to sample the huge range of sports and other activities.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

Semi-retired, that is to say, working for myself and choosing the amount of work I want, which is mainly working as an 'Expert Witness' for the legal fraternity and the Courts, as a Clinical Psychologist. I retired from my full time work as a Clinical Psychologist within the NHS, from 1963 to 1995, working in Manchester, Bolton, Salford and lastly in Maidstone.

What would be your top tips for students interested in working in this sector?

There is huge competition for places on Post -Graduate courses in Clinical Psychology. Therefore you need a 2i degree in Psychology and preferably as much experience working in your holidays within a related field and working in related areas after you graduate just to get your name noticed amongst the huge pile of applications.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

Without my degree, I would/could not have embarked on my career and would be most unlikely to still be working at my venerable age!

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

Get a job in any area such as Social Services, voluntary work, oversees work, anything to keep you in work and which will lift your profile ahead of the competition.

Why did you decide to give to the University of Reading?

It has been responsible for my entire career and continuing ability to work within my field well beyond retirement age. I needed to pay back the University that has meant so much to me and to my life.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

It gave me a chance in life for which I am eternally grateful to the Psychology Department and to that wonderful character, the head of Dept, Prof. Magdalene Vernon. It enabled me to partake in many activities, from editing a magazine, chairing various student activity groups and especially taking up rowing. My favourite memory, also the most difficult thing I ever did was rowing in two London Head of the River races. The skills learned then have been invaluable ever since.

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