Graduate profile
The Rik Medlik building

Marianna Dalkou

"Being at Surrey was one of the best experiences of my life and when I think about my time in the university a big smile always crosses my face."

Health Psychology

What attracted you to choose the University of Surrey and to study your course here?

I chose the University of Surrey because of its reputation and the very good ranking it had in university tables.

Regarding the specific programme that I chose I found that it had the most interesting course and the professors are some of the most prominent figures in the field of Health Psychology (Jane Ogden, Mark Corpley).

What is your strongest memory of your time at Surrey – what do you picture first when you think of being here?

Being at Surrey was one of the best experiences of my life and when I think about my time in the university a big smile always crosses my face. Even though I was away from my home country, the University offered me a great sense of security and hospitality. I knew that if I had any problem it would be solved in minutes.

Something that I will never forget is the first thing that Mark Corpley (the course director) told us in our first lecture: “be aware... during your MSc you have to remember that time flies.” He was so right. 

Last but not least, one of the best things that happened to me was that I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people and to make new friends for life.

What were the best things about your course?

The best thing is that the course provided us with a variety of very interesting modules and taught us how to critically evaluate scientific data. I am grateful that after the completion of my MSc I further improved my research skills.

I really enjoyed the seminars that were held in the university campus addressed only to Health Psychology Postgraduate students. During these seminars I had the chance to learn very enlightening things related to my field and also useful information and tips about job opportunities.

What do you do now and what do you find most enjoyable about your line of work?

Currently I am working as a Psychologist in a rehabilitation center for disabled children in Thessaloniki, Greece called ELEPAP. At the same time I am a PhD student in the Medical School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in the Department of Hygiene.

How did you decide what career to go into? How did your time at Surrey help you to decide?

After the completion of my studies I knew that I had made the right decision as Health Psychology is a very broad field offering great opportunities in many different domains. I wanted to further improve my knowledge and put into action what I had learned regarding public health and especially to design and implement health interventions.  

I am currently doing a PhD in order to have the chance to design an intervention and to conduct my own research. This will give me the opportunity to test myself and my skills to find a deeper understanding of behaviour.

What are your top tips for students aspiring to work in your profession?

Critically evaluate everything you read, be creative, be patient and enjoy the ride!

What aspects of being connected with the alumni network are most important or of most interest to you and why?

I really like learning about the great things that student and staff at Surrey are accomplishing. I was thrilled when I read about the high rankings and the amazing new laboratories and research taking place. Being connected through the alumni network makes me feel that I can come back at any time and also fills me with pride that I am a graduate of such a great university.

Share what you've read?