Student profile
Matt Finch, BSc (Hons) Psychology

Matt Finch

"On my placement with East London NHS Trust, I produced patient summaries (triages) for clinical psychologists and collected self-report measures from service users."

Placement company
East London NHS Trust

Why I chose Surrey

I chose to come to Surrey through adjustment, as I exceeded my (rather pessimistic) A-level expectations. I was drawn to Surrey in particular due to its ranking in league tables, the campus feel of the University and the fact a senior lecturer called me to inform me about the strengths of the course at Surrey. However, I always joke that the telephone hold music was the deciding factor!

I had several offers from around the country. Overall I found the quick thinking of the student on the telephone and knowledge of the lecturer who rang me back was key to drawing me to Surrey, but again the hold music was also very persuasive!

I chose my subject as I enjoyed psychology at A-level, was curious to what leads to normal/abnormal thinking in humans and wanted to be able to put my studies to a useful end (as I aspire to be a clinical psychologist one day). 

My course

On my BSc (Hons) Psychology course, I enjoy the assessments in terms of coursework essays and lab reports, as this offers a really good opportunity to be creative and work at a high level within your own unique viewpoint.

I have found the lecturers to be consistently helpful, knowledgeable and engaging. I understand that the psychology facilities are being invested in, which will be great for the department.

My placement

I undertook a Professional Training placement, working at an inpatient mental health ward and early intervention in psychosis team in Bedford for the East London NHS Trust for a year. I found this placement through the University.

My work was split between an inpatient ward and a community early intervention in psychosis service. On the inpatient ward, my role revolved around attending/liaising with multi-discipline team meetings, producing patient summaries or triages for clinical psychologists and collecting self-report measures/backgrounds directly from service users. Meanwhile at the early intervention team I liaised with wider health/community services to construct client histories, maintained/audited client databases and worked with some service users in community recreation activities.

I would advise a placement, as through the highs and lows of the year, you get a full and enjoyable appreciation of what a career in your field of study is like. It really helps to build your skills and employability for the future too. However I was most satisfied with seeing seemingly complex and removed theories applied in a practical and meaningful way, this built a great deal of character too.

"With the early intervention team, I liaised with wider health/community services to construct client histories, maintained/audited client databases and worked with some service users in community recreation activities."

My life at Surrey

During first year, I lived in university accommodation at Battersea Court. It was the most convenient place I’ve lived in in my entire life! Halls at Stag Hill campus are very conveniently located and are generally very good - living with 14 people guarantees that you will make lots of good friends.

I am a part of Surrey Marrow, the student-run branch of the Anthony Nolan Charity, which has become possibly one of the biggest things in my life. Marrow has massively benefitted my life by offering a range of fantastic activities, a group of brilliant friends and a chance to do something meaningful and helpful with my time on campus. I would definitely advise joining a society… preferably a charity… maybe even a blood cancer charity… (Surrey Marrow).

Guildford is surprisingly picturesque and is very convenient compared to living in a village.

My career and development

Since starting university, I think I’ve become slightly more critical, a bit funnier and hopefully more employable too!

In the future, I hope to apply for jobs as an assistant psychologist or support worker, with a view to study further and continue in my aspiration to become a clinical psychologist.

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