Student profile
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Jessica Anthony

I was lucky enough to absolutely love my Professional Training placement. It gave me clarity on my future career aspirations and introduced me to a working environment I never would have considered before.

What’s something you couldn’t live without at university?

Indomie Mi Goreng Instant Noodles and my headphones

Why did you choose to come to Surrey?

I'm from South Africa and knew that I wanted to come and study in the UK. In 2019 I travelled here with my dad to visit different universities and get a feeling for where I wanted to apply. Due to the education system being different in South Africa (where sociology was not available as a subject to study in high school) many universities I visited had little confidence in my ability to study my desired course and made me feel as though I was not capable of joining the education system in the UK. Surrey was the last place I visited and every staff member I met encouraged me to take on the challenge and had full confidence that I would be able to study my desired course. 

Surrey was one of the few universities I visited that made me feel supported and welcome.

What was your first impression when you got here?

I loved the location and feel of the campus. I also loved the amount of food and drink options available!

Why are you passionate about your subject?

I have always been fascinated by human behaviour, specifically with regards to crime and criminality. Studying criminology and sociology has given me a more well-rounded understanding of society and changed my perspective of the world. That in itself is a testament to its importance and relevance.

What do you like about your course and why?

I can not speak more highly of all my lecturers, tutors and seminar leaders. They never failed to go above and beyond to support all of us and our understanding of the content. 

What were the facilities like on your course? 

The facilities at Surrey are so expansive, there is always a place to study on campus and the support teams across the university mean that every question you have can be answered and support can be provided in every aspect of university life.

Have you been on a Professional Training placement? What were the highlights? 

Yes, I worked at a primary school for boys with SEMH (social, emotional and mental health) needs as a teaching assistant. I was required to support students with their learning as well as manage their behaviour, as many of them displayed challenging behaviours.

My placement tutor was always so helpful during my Profession Training year. He always made sure I was enjoying my placement and provided me with any support I needed. 

I loved my placement, so it is difficult to choose just a few highlights. The most rewarding part was the relationships I had with my students and being able to watch them make progress and become more confident in themselves and their abilities.

Would you recommend a Professional Training placement to others? 

Yes, 100%! I was lucky enough to absolutely love my placement. It gave me clarity on my future career aspirations and introduced me to a working environment I never would have considered before. I have since stayed on at the school part time through my final year of university and plan to sign a full-time contract after graduation.

What are the best things about life at Surrey? 

I absolutely love living in Guildford. There is enough to and see but if you do get bored than you are just a quick train ride from London.

How has your time at Surrey had an impact on you?

When I was in my final years of high school, I set myself the challenge of moving here alone. I never thought I would have the guts to do it, but I did, and this has been the greatest learning experience. 

My time at Surrey is my greatest achievement and I have proved to myself that I am capable of conquering my biggest fears and flourishing in environments which I thought would crush me.

Do you have any final comments about your time at Surrey?

I am so grateful for my experience and the last four years have been a dream come true.

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