When a golden opportunity arose to pursue the Bachelor of Psychology (BPSY) degree in 2012, Kanages Kasinathan @ Bhanu gladly grabbed it. This year, she has graduated again, this time with a Master of Counselling (MC).
With the latest qualification, Bhanu is gearing up to become a counselling professional. She is currently in the midst of applying for a registered counsellor license from the Board of Counsellors Malaysia.
At the age of 49, this two-time graduate has certainly come a long way in life.
“Due to financial constraints, I had to start working right after finishing secondary school. I always wanted to pursue my studies, but could not afford it at that time,” Bhanu shares.
She used to work at an international school in Kuala Lumpur. It comes as no surprise that an educational environment filled with students, teachers and caring bosses is so close to her heart.
“I held many positions during my three decades at that school. I was a receptionist, teacher’s assistant, junior secretary, secretary, senior secretary, and accounts executive. My last position was as a permanent substitute teacher,” says Bhanu, who resigned in May this year.
It is the school that gave her the opportunity to realise her long-lost dream.
“I was so happy to follow my dream! At first, I received a lot of negative comments. Many questioned my decision to study because of my age. But my husband encouraged me to go ahead with the BPSY degree. I then took on the MC programme in 2016.”
Bhanu says that lecturers were helpful and she made friends with classmates from different courses. “They have many different talents and skills that I could also learn from. One learner I could never forget was 70 years old! He was such an inspiration to many of us.”
“I am so glad that I took up counselling as this is now a much-needed service. I have personally seen how happy people are after receiving counselling advice. Counselling helps many individuals to make the right decision at the right time. That is such an awesome feeling I get from my clients.”
At the moment, Bhanu is providing free counselling to the needy. “The local community knows I have been studying to be a counsellor. When I did my practicum, many knew about it. So, when someone needed guidance, they came to me for help.”
This warm-hearted mother of one is happy to counsel people for free. She reveals, “Many have found the right way to solve their problems after their sessions with me. That makes me feel good about myself.”
“I can proudly say that I have made my dream come true. I am ready to serve the people now!” Bhanu concludes optimistically.
Life’s twists and turns often catch us by surprise. Who would have guessed that I would discover a new side to myself well into my golden years?
I’m from Negeri Sembilan and both my parents are professionals: my father is an engineer and my mother a chartered accountant.
Looking back at the last 15 years or so of my life, I can definitely say that I’ve been through a lot.
My parents’ wishes have always been on my mind: with seven children to provide for, commitments were aplenty and they never had a chance to study at university level.
When a golden opportunity arose to pursue the Bachelor of Psychology (BPSY) degree in 2012, Kanages Kasinathan @ Bhanu gladly grabbed it.