It is so surreal writing this knowing that I am completely finished at Kingston and that I literally have no more work to do! Although it feels nice to have more sleep and time for fun I'm really going to miss my time at Kingston. The time has just flown and I can't believe 3 years have gone already!!
Studying psychology at Kingston has been great as maintaining interest in the modules has been relatively easy as they have been really stimulating - which helps when doing assignments and exams ;). Additionally, I was able to take part in a work based learning module during my 2nd year which gave me good practise for the level of work required in the final year. In my course in particular there has been a great sense of community and loads of study groups, which helps during exam time. We have a great facebook page which has helped us all out a lot when worried about aspects of assignments etc. Studying psychology at Kingston has increased my passion for the subject and increased my drive to achieve high in the field.
As well as studying, being a Student Ambassador has been a major bonus to coming to Kingston. Not only has it given me work experience in an array of areas such as, teamwork, project leading and admin/organisational skills. But it has also provided me with some experiences that I will never ever forget!! Just before my 2nd year I and some other student ambassadors were recruited to take part in a scheme that would help disadvantaged students coming to Kingston University. As a mega, mega bonus we were also told that as part of the role we would be going to University North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) in the USA!!
The trip was great fun and we met some AMAZING people - who I'm still in contact with today. We had the chance to meet other student leaders/ambassadors to learn from each other about the differences in university life in the UK compared to USA. Also, we hoped to find out what they did in their university to make it a more fulfilling and achievable experience. And we did!! As a result of this trip the student ambassadors and staff discussed ways in which Kingston could be improved. Through being a student ambassador, course rep or student union officer, students can really make a difference and contribute to how Kingston University is run. This is something I particularly love about Kingston the fact that it tries hard to keep students as the focus.
I've also had great pleasure volunteering during my 2nd & 3rd year at Kingston. One of those roles was as a buddy for a young girl with Asperger's Syndrome (severe learning disability). This role was gained through Kingston University Student Union Volunteering. As a result I now have experience in working with particular individuals that I will most probably work with at some point in the future as a psychologist. This not only has made me more employable but has confirmed to me that this is a career I wish to follow. Therefore, I would really recommend it as something to do if you are unsure about a certain pathway!! PLUS Kingston can help you find the right type of role to suit you!
Working with the Alzheimer's society is another volunteering role that I have done whilst studying. This has given me experience working with individuals with neurodegenerative disorders, again a similar area to what I may experience in the future working within mental health. I would recommend that anyone who wants to gain experience whilst studying should do most of it during 1st and 2nd year as your final year can be demanding and you may not find time to keep on top of your grades. I did most of the volunteering during my 2nd year especially in the summer!!
I'm sad to say bye to Kingston but I am happy and positive about the future. I've just secured a new job working as a support worker for a brain injury assessment and rehabilitation specialists and it was in fact a job that was advertised through the Universities employability officer for my faculty (Arts & Social Sciences). I know that from talking to the interviewer that my experience volunteering had a huge impact on me getting the job. Simply because the role I did as a volunteer is very similar to the current job I just gained, apart from it's paid. Having some basic experience in the type of field you hope to have a career in goes a long way in getting a job when you graduate.
For the future...I am aiming to apply for clinical psychology training in September which I hope to get on to for next year! In the meantime I will be working as much as I can to build up more experience to give me a better chance of getting on the course and to further improve my CV.
I have absolutely loved being in a vibrant and mixed environment and meeting such great people. Kingston has really widened my opinion on others and helped expose me to so many new and great things!
All the best,
It seems ages since this first year at uni ended! It was important to me to earn money this summer (as much as I can) just to fund all the days out I like to have in London. It's probably one of the best reasons for being at Kingston if I'm quite honest!
I asked myself what I could do this summer that was different than going back to my job at home as a Gym Instructor. So I applied as a Student Ambassador at the start of the year... The role is a lot of fun as everyone is really friendly and positive. The jobs that are available I never see as work because they're interesting. Going into local schools has been my highlight, as the kids are excited to hear about life the life of a university student. Other jobs involve working at open days, on the clearing hotline and becoming an online ambassador (like me). These are just some of the jobs available, however you can choose which ones suit your skills and availability best. It's a bonus that the pay rates for an Ambassador are good too!
All in all I would encourage any new university student to become an ambassador (especially one at Kingston) for the reasons above, but also it looks great on any CV.
There will come a time where you too will have to move on from uni life and prepare for the future of adulthood, which means trying to snag a job! These thoughts consumed my mind straight after uni. Once I packed up my bags and prepared for my journey home (in the USA) I knew it was going to be a new chapter in my life. I was a bit nervous while sitting on the plane from London since I hadn't been home in nearly two years...which is quite a long time. So much of what I enjoyed as a Kingston Student would be no more...no more running to class, no more Fresher's Fayre, no more working as a supervisor in the S.U. campus shop and no more student ambassador work. That was a lot to take in for an 8 hour journey home.
I found that I wasn't alone as many students were going through these emotions. I remembered the lectures we had about finding jobs, applying what we have learned for the ‘real world' and that we must try our best. As I remembered my lecturer Beth Brewster's comforting words of "I want to hear what paths you decide to choose" and that she would always offer "aftercare"...meaning that we could still come to her if we needed some more of her helpful advice. Knowing that I still have the support of my university and that they want to follow me on my journey as a journalist is wonderful.
Since coming home to Pittsburgh, I have updated my CV and really taken the time to appreciate all the advice my lecturers instilled with me. I am so happy I pushed for internships and that I had at least have two while I was a student and for getting involved with uni clubs and societies. It not only has made my CV stand out and show experience but I as a person feel that I have made a point to reach for the stars to achieve my success. I aim high and hope for the best. Kingston University has given me the confidence and life skills to continue this growing legacy and to prepare my life for whatever comes my way.
My goal for this summer is to work as a journalist in Pittsburgh till I decide where I want to be based as a journalist. I am sure my CV will catch the eye of an employer or organization who wants to see a person well travelled and someone who has tried new things. In the meantime, I have been catching up with old friends and even having the chance to go to Kennywood Park. I was able to ride many rides with my good friend Gina, great times!
Without attending Kingston University I may still have been living in Pittsburgh and never knowing what lies beyond my town. I'm glad I made the leap of faith to London. I wouldn't trade a single memory of it...it has been the greatest journey of my life thus far.
The Kingston University Knights Park student union bar on a fundraiser night.
Uploaded 20 Dec 2013
Sport at Kingston
Uploaded 20 Dec 2013
My Hobby - Photography
Uploaded 20 Dec 2013