Samantha Kelly 

Graduated:  2007
Job:  Programme Consultant Youth Exchange Organisation

Why did you choose UWIC?
I chose to come to UWIC after entering the UCAS clearing system.  Whilst looking at the clearing list I called UWIC as I had visited Cardiff for an Open Day and really liked the city. I chose UWIC due to this reason, and when I spoke to the UWIC Psychology lecturer on the phone he seemed much more friendly and encouraging than any other lecturer I had spoken to at either an Open Day or through clearing. This lead to me fairly impulsively choosing UWIC!

Why did you choose the particular course?
Psychology at AS level interested me more than any other subject at School, so the first reason I wanted to study psychology was that it really interested me. Since the age of 14 I had been involved in extra-curricular activities working with children and young people in many different settings. I knew I wanted a varied career that involved interacting with children / young people (but not as a teacher) and wasn't sure exactly what. I knew that a degree in Psychology would open many different options in this area, as well as teach me a lot about it.

How beneficial did you find the course?
I found my 3 years studying psychology very beneficial. It has developed my critical thinking skills greatly which is useful in all areas of life and any career that you choose to go into. With regards to the career path of working with children and young people that I had in mind before I went to university, I have not changed my mind and the study of psychology has given me the ability to do this in even the most challenging environments through looking at every situation differently and trying to gain empathy with individuals that I work with.  The fact that I was studying psychology helped me to get a job as a Camp America Camp Counsellor and then as a (Children's Mental Health) Casual Support Worker during the school/university holidays. This experience linked to the theory I was learning at university, as well as enabled me to complete a qualitative final year research project on children with mental health disorders, thus strengthening my enthusiasm for this type of career.
What have you gone on to do since graduation?
Since graduation in June last year I have worked through the summer as a Children's Support Worker. I saw advertised a European Cultural Exchange Programme which offered internships in different countries across Europe. I applied and took the offer of a 6 month (Programme Consultant) internship within a youth exchange organisation in Oslo, Norway. I have been in Oslo since November and have just been offered a contract until the end of August, at which point i hope to come back and start a masters programme.
Did you go onto study at postgraduate level, if so, why? If not, would you consider doing a PG programme in future?
I am currently applying for an M.Sc / M.A in Social Work and am applying for the MSc in Applied Psychology at Edinburgh University.

Would you recommend UWIC and the course?
I would most definitely recommend the course. Apart from the interesting content of levels 2 and 3 through the whole course I consistently felt supported by all the lecturers. Whenever any of us had questions, needed extra advice or support and were completing our final year research project in mine, and my friends experience, lecturers were totally supportive, always made time for us and were open in their opinions to us.  I think this is one of the most important factors about being on a bachelors degree and this gave a great atmosphere to the course as a whole.

General comments.
Overall, I had a great three years studying Psychology at UWIC!