"My time at Birmingham has prepared me with a realistic view of professions in mental health and has helped me to build the confidence I need to succeed in the future."
Why did you come to study your course at the University of Birmingham?
Students often talk about a ‘vibe’ that you pick up from a university during open days, where you instinctively know that this is the place where you want to spend the next three or four years of your life. This was definitely something that I experienced when I attended the open day at UoB. The lecturers were friendly and inviting, the campus was stunning and there was a real buzz of activity. The MSci in particular stood out to me because of the unique work experience placement in applied psychology.
What made the course at Birmingham stand out for you? What is unique about the course?
The placement offered by the MSci is such a fantastic way of getting your foot in the door as an Assistant Psychologist. I am a strong believer that the best learning is achieved through experience, and my placement in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) has been phenomenal in this regard. The teaching in the first three years of the course is of an excellent standard, but it’s the work experience that really gives you the edge over other candidates hoping to get into applied psychology.
What has been your personal highlight of your time at Birmingham so far?
It’s really difficult to choose a single highlight of my time here because I have enjoyed the past few years so much. In terms of my professional development, I have gained invaluable experience from my work placement as an Assistant Psychologist. Having said that, I really do think that it’s the people you meet, either through your course, societies or accommodation that make university so special.
How do you find living in Birmingham?
I have always been relatively local to the West Midlands, so Birmingham has never been far. It really is a vibrant and diverse city with so much to offer. There are plenty of bars, clubs, restaurants, galleries and theatres for you to explore and enjoy. Even though I’m local, I chose to stay in student accommodation during my first three years and I have no regrets. I have made some friends for life and have challenged myself to live independently (although occasionally bringing the laundry home to my parents was convenient!)
Have you been involved in any clubs, societies or events during your time at Birmingham?
During my second year, I was elected activities co-ordinator for the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award society. This opportunity was a great way to socialise and meet new people whilst also working towards something unique to add to my CV. I was also a member of the mountaineering society, where I enjoyed indoor and outdoor rock climbing with a close group of friends.
What are your aspirations for the future?
My long-term plan is to qualify as a Clinical Psychologist. Although the doctorate in clinical psychology is an extremely competitive course, I am looking forward to the journey and the challenges that lie ahead. My time at Birmingham has prepared me with a realistic view of professions in mental health and has helped me to build the confidence I need to succeed in the future.
What is your top tip that you would like to pass on to other students thinking of coming to study at the University of Birmingham?
My top tip would be to dive straight in to any opportunities that come your way – just go for it! You might initially feel nervous or apprehensive, but it’s all part of learning and development. Try something new and you may even surprise yourself.