Graduate views: Shah Alam
- Graduated 2012: BSc in Psychology
- NHS nutrition assistant, sales advisor and charity volunteer for Victim Support
Can you tell us a bit about what you're doing now?
I work as a nutrition assistant in NHS MEND programmes, where I facilitate groups of children and parents. I deliver sessions that promote healthy lifestyles. I also work as a part-time sales assistant, and find that this role continually improves my people and problem-solving skills. I volunteer at Victim Support, providing practical and emotional support to vulnerable victims of crime, an area of work that I aim to pursue in the future.
Why did you choose to study Psychology at City?
City was my first option as it had an excellent ranking in the university league tables, and I realised that I could travel to and from there easily from home. When reading over the course content, I felt it was interesting and a broad range of topics would be covered, and the British Psychological Society accredits the course (an accreditation that future employers may look for).
How did you first get interested in Psychology?
I was first introduced to the field of Psychology during college, after my sister suggested picking the subject as an A level. I was not aware of how much I would come to admire the subject by continually learning more and more about human behaviour, and how I could apply learnt concepts to real life. I decided to continue studying Psychology at undergraduate level, being particularly interested in the research modules available at City and the chance to conduct my own experiments.
Were there any lecturers who really inspired you?
The lecturers in the Psychology Department were helpful in all sorts of ways, from their high quality presentations to providing useful reading material. Dr Stuart Menzies made the Research Methods module easy to digest, while Dr Kielan Yarrow's Biological Psychology slides were an extremely valuable revision tool. I appreciated the on-going support from my personal tutor Dr Sebastian Gaigg, who ensured I was coping with the workload. PhD students were able to answer research queries, and my third-year project supervisor Dr Elliot Freeman motivated me to reach my potential.
What was your favourite topic or module?
My overall favourite would have to be the Abnormal & Clinical Psychology module, which I was looking forward to and which did not disappoint. Every lecture covered content I was eager to read up on, such as the assessment and treatment of anxiety and mood disorders. I feel that the knowledge I gained during this module helps me understand people better, while simultaneously equipping me with basic knowledge for my possible future career plans.
What are your longer-term career plans?
In the long-term I would like to become a chartered Clinical, Health or Counselling Psychologist, to ultimately learn more about other people and myself while helping them along the way.
Any advice for someone considering this course?
Be sure that you are motivated, committed and can organise your time, in order to put your all into essays, reports and exams. Additionally, get as much experience as you can, whether it be research or in a clinical setting over the holiday period, while exploring along the way what area you would ideally want to work in after graduation. Finally, don't be afraid to work with different people on your course, as you find that you can learn a lot from each other, while making genuine friends along the way.