For me, helping people is the most meaningful thing I can imagine being able to do as a career.
I’ve always been interested in people and was inspired by one of my leaders at Air Cadets who was a Clinical Psychologist. It was from talking to her that I thought Psychology would suit me. I like the idea of being able to support people with their issues and find meaning, instead of suffering needlessly. For me, helping people is most meaningful thing I can imagine being able to do as a career.
I’ve been surprised how scientific the course is. I expected to learn about theories, but in a more qualitative way. It’s much more quantitative than I expected, but that has turned out to be a good thing. I feel that having a scientific psychological background will be really useful for getting a job in psychology, while studying a course accredited by the British Psychological Society will give you lots of opportunities.
During my second year, I’ve had the chance to get first-hand experience of carrying out psychological research through undertaking an internship within the Psychology Department. We’re running a series of experiments to investigate how emotional reactions in group situations are affected by alcohol. As part of this project, I have worked with participants to ensure control for ethical issues and administer tests, all of which are excellent skills to put on my CV and use in interviews.
My internship was a major factor in securing a placement next year with an NHS community mental health team in Cornwall. I’ll be spending a year there working with a range of professionals within the team – counsellors, mental health nurses, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, psychotherapists – which will be really useful for thinking about what I want to do in the future. I’m really looking forward to doing a bit of everything and meeting lots of people in their various job roles and client groups.