Leanne Fitchen 
Graduated:  2006
Job:  Project Leader for the National Autistic Society

Why did you choose UWIC?   
My A-level PE teacher completed her degree at UWIC, this was how I initially became aware of UWIC. When I visited UWIC on an open-day I was impressed with every aspect of the university, I was very excited about the prospect of studying at UWIC. I was impressed with Llandaff campus, it appeared new and attractive. I was also excited about the prospect of living at Plas Gwyn, the accomodation was relatively new, the rooms were en suite, and Llandaff is a beautiful area.

Why did you choose the particular course?
I became passionate about psychology when I began A-Level psychology, I quickly identified the career path I would need to take in order to become a professional within the field; this is why I choose to complete a psychology degree at UWIC as my next step.

How beneficial did you find the course? 
I became immersed in the course; I found it extremely beneficial. It enabled me to analyse, theorise and intensely exploring the world and the processes within it. It allowed me to develop and appreciate the ideas and questions that I have always had and that until starting the course I was unable to fully develop due to lack of skills and knowledge. It enabled me to understand and fully appreciate animal cognition, and thus establish my ethical perspective and define who I am.  Importantly as a result of joining the course I made some amazing friends.

What have you gone on to do since graduation?
In September 2006 I began working as a Special Needs Teaching Assistant at Fosse Way School: a special needs school, particularly for children with autisic spectrum disorders. Additionally, I have recently been appointed as a Project Leader for the National Autistic Society, with the support of volunteers I run two Out of School clubs for children and adolescences with Asperger Syndrome. Furthermore I provide regular respite care for an individual with autism.

How easily did you find employment upon graduation – how long did it take? is it relevant to what they studied?
I was offered the position at Fosse Way School in July 2006. The position is very relevant to my degree, it has provided me with highly relevant experience and extensive insight into autistic spectrum disorders.

Did you go onto study at postgraduate level, if so, why? If not, would they consider doing a PG programme in future?
I have recently applied to complete a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, following this I then intend to specialise in Clinical Neuropsychology. South Wales was one of my four choices for studying at PG level.  If I am unsuccessful with this application I will reapply next year and continue to obtain relevant experience until then.

Would you recommend UWIC and the course?
Yes I would, definately.  I was inspired and captivated by studying at UWIC, it was a fantastic experience and I miss it very much.