Third year Psychology students at Edge Hill University were given the chance to reflect on the skills they’ve gained during their course and enhance their employability at a Dragons’ Den event.
Now in its fifth year, Dragons’ Den is part of the final-year ‘Reflections and Future Directions’ module on the Psychology programmes taught by Professor Geoff Beattie.
Its aim is to encourage students to acknowledge and reflect on skills that they have gained at each level of their programme and to support students in developing ideas in preparation for possible future employment in applied areas of psychology or in related professions.
During the event, students are set the task of developing a practical application of psychology and making a commercial pitch to a panel of experts – Fran Cassidy, ex-Marketing Director of ITV, TV Producer and Director Manus Wynne and Geoff.
This year’s initiatives covered a very diverse range, and included ideas such as a teddy bear to help those suffering from dementia using various memory prompts and familiar music, an intervention with the homeless with a focus on a cost-effective way of providing counselling services to those homeless people with psychological needs, and ‘your personal PA’ in an app, to allow more effective time management in a digital world.
The winning group, comprising Bethan Crook, Lauren Challis, Amy Corrigan and Jessica Dearden presented ‘Comf-ease’ – a revolutionary new way to listen to music, in a comfortable soft headband with built-in speakers, specifically designed for children with autism. The Dragons liked the very practical simplicity of their proposal combined with their astute observations of its potential therapeutic benefits.
“Psychology has so many applications in the commercial sector because at its heart it is about understanding human behaviour,” said Fran. “And exactly why people feel and act as they do is a fundamental question for virtually every organisation on the planet. The professionalism of the presentations was particularly impressive this year, and the winning group not only demonstrated sound psychological understanding but textbook marketing innovation too.
“Given the combination of solid application of psychology theory and creativity of ideas demonstrated, I have no doubt that the class of 2018 will find many, many rewarding opportunities to use their talent in successful future careers”, she said.
“I am always impressed by the standard of Edge Hill’s Psychology students’ presentations and have come to expect that year-on-year they consistently raise the bar,” added Manus. “But I was not expecting by just how much the bar would be raised in 2018. In my view, the confident presentations were equal to those of experienced professionals, and the ideas were, in many cases, immediately commercially viable. It is an honour to attend and watch, not only the students, but also the Psychology department grow from strength to strength.”