"On my placement, I worked at Life Works Private Rehabilitation Centre, supporting clients with addictions, mood disorders and eating disorders through emotional experiences."
Why I chose Surrey
I chose Surrey for lots of reasons but the main two were the league table rankings and the placement opportunities. The league tables assured me that Surrey equips students with the skills to complete their degree to a high standard and I thought the placement was a great idea that would provide me with great relevant job experience, networking opportunities and a make me more employable upon graduating.
I went to an open day and it helped me decide to attend Surrey because I really liked the campus and the lecture theatres. The students and staff both seemed really friendly and convinced me that this was the University and course for me.
My favourite aspects of my BSc (Hons) Psychology course are the social modules, as these are my personal interest. I really enjoyed being able to design and carry out my own experiments, allowing me to see what going into research would be like.
The facilities at Surrey are great, having access to equipment like blood-pressure machines meant I could learn new skills and use interesting technology to improve my psychological studies. I was also able to use more advanced equipment like eye-tracking technology, galvanic skin response technology and facial expression analysis.
For my Professional Training placement, I worked at Life Works, The Priory, a private residential rehab centre working with eating disorders, addiction and mood disorders in clients. My placement involved observing group therapy sessions, supporting clients through emotional experiences and meal times for eating disorder clients. I would also support the therapists during these times, assisting them and taking on additional roles where needed; I escort clients to appointments and take them on therapeutic daily walks.
I developed many skills while on my placement, I learnt how to deal with people in very stressful and emotional situations and help them through their triggers. I learnt a great deal more about mental diseases such as addiction, mood disorders and eating disorders, and the different therapies used to treat them, such as dialectical behaviour therapy. I’ve also gained further skills by spending time in the nursing department and on reception.
"I would definitely recommend a Professional Training placement as it has been my favourite part of my degree and has improved my skills and confidence."
On my placement I was supported by all the staff, and had monthly meetings with my supervisor to make sure I was working to the best of my ability, and that all my needs were being met. I would definitely recommend a Professional Training placement as it has been my favourite part of my degree, has improved my skills and confidence, and I am now comfortable leaving University and entering a clinical psychology career. Without this placement I would not have felt prepared to follow this career path, and now know I have job opportunities when I leave. My best moment at Surrey has definitely been my placement, I grew in confidence so much just in the first few months and have made many friends there.
I loved having the experience of a real workplace in the field I want to follow, and can’t wait to apply what I’ve learn to my final year at University.
My life at Surrey
In my first year, I lived in university accommodation at Millennium House, which turned out to be the best place I could be – living so close to the lake was lovely, and living on campus made my mornings a lot less stressful!
I was part of the Feminist Society which was a great place to meet like-minded people and make friends while discussing important topics.
One of my favourite things about Surrey is Surrey Sports Park. It’s really easy to get to and has a fantastic gym. I use the gym for lifting weights, it has a great range of equipment and the staff are always helpful. The student discount made my membership affordable and gives me access to all aspects of the Sparks Park, which is nice when I want to go for a swim after a workout.
My career and development
I have changed in many ways since I started at Surrey; I’ve learnt how to take care of things for myself, such as money management, bills and renting, as well as having the opportunity to try job experience in clinical psychology. I’ve also realised that it’s okay not to make friends immediately (even with your first year flatmates), and that you’ll find your people eventually!