Sue Bass

Master of Education

Counselling Studies

Key Info

  • Master of Education
  • Counselling Studies
  • Teach NZ Study Award 2017 and 2018

What made you choose to study at Waikato?

I have a role in pastoral care and wanted to study some papers to better help my students. I contacted three universities, but was extremely impressed with Waikato’s quick response and the support I received.

What’s your favourite subject and why?

I thoroughly enjoyed the human development paper I just completed – it’s called Working with Groups. The content was practical and the facilitator was extremely supportive and encouraging.

What does a typical day look like for you?

When I’m not doing assessments, I’ll have conversations with the staff and students to ensure there aren’t any issues. Outside of work, I like gardening, walking and spending time with my family and grandchildren.

Highlight of your degree so far?

One of my favourite things about counselling studies is all the practical things I learn. I’ve enjoyed seeing how the theory is used in real-world scenarios – I use some of the methods I learn in class in my work.

What do you love about studying at Waikato?

I truly appreciate the constant support that Waikato gives its students – from the subject librarians to the student support centre staff. I was also surprised at how supportive the online environment is and I was able to build relationships with my online classmates. The tremendous support encourages me to push myself outside of my comfort zone… even to do role play in class.

How have you changed in your time at Waikato?

I am much more confident, especially in dealing with people and issues. Now I tend to listen and prompt people to solve their issues or realise an answer, whereas previously I would have just tried to fix it myself. I think this is more powerful for those involved.

What’s your number one tip for making the most of uni life?

Make sure to take part in things. Don’t think “I don’t have to, so I won’t”. Get outside of your comfort zone and get involved.

How do you think you can make a difference through your studies?

Where we live, it can take a week from referral to the arrival of mental health support. I do what I can in the meantime and act as intermediary support. Also when there is a crisis issue, the main hub of support is at least an hour away. This is when I use what I’ve learnt to provide immediate support to students.

What would you advise other students looking to study Counselling Studies?

Counselling Studies would be useful for anyone to take – not just people who want to be counsellors. It would help any teacher as there are so many issues that we deal with, including mental health.

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