Psychology Alumni return to Bradford to help students' employability
A group of recent psychology graduates returned to Bradford to engage with current students and share their experiences of life after graduation.
The seven alumni (see below), who have pursued different career paths after successfully graduating from the Bradford BSc Psychology programme in 2014 and 2015, answered questions and provided advice and tips for current psychology and social science undergraduate students.
The fact that the group of alumni had gone on to work in various roles or pursue postgraduate study reflects the wide range of opportunities open to psychology students after graduation. "It helps to know your strengths. Take a risk and do something new to increase your confidence and don’t put barriers in your own way" was some of the advice given to students by Ji You, a graduate of the BSc Psychology and Counselling programme.
Christina Tabacu, an Assistant Psychologist who works with clients with personality disorders, said "as an undergraduate, you don’t realise how broad Psychology is and yet how specific the different domains (within Psychology) are. Do your homework on the organisation before applying and in preparation for an interview. Remember first impressions count."
According to Reece Thompson, who works as a Merchandising Analyst for Asda, students should take responsibility for their professional development at an early stage as "no one will do it for you". Commenting on job success, he advised students to "show initiative, don’t shy away from a challenge, take everything on and don’t walk away."
One of the graduates, Zainab Butt, has recently secured a position as a Clinical Assistant Psychologist within the NHS having worked as a Disability Employment Advisor for Remploy since November 2016. Zainab advised students to consider three key questions prior to applying for jobs; "you should ask yourself; what am I good at? What are my values? What makes me better than other applicants?"
Konstantinos Karafoulidis, currently studying part-time for an MSC in Human Resources Management, said that "developing your skills and experience whilst a student is important as the confidence and skills you can develop for part-time and voluntary work around your studies coupled with good communication can help students' employability."
The alumni that formed the panel included:
- Reece Thompson, Merchandising Analyst at Asda, BSc Psychology 2015
- Shames Maskeen, PhD Student, BSc Psychology 2015
- Cristina Tabacu, Assistant Psychologist at Elsyium Healthcare, BSc Psychology and Crime 2014
- Thomas Whitford-Bartle, UK/EU Recruitment and Outreach Officer at University of Bradford, BSc Psychology 2015
- Ji You, Postgraduate student, BSc Psychology and Counselling 2015
- Konstantinos Karafoulidis, Postgraduate student, BSc Psychology 2015
- Zainab Butt, Disability Employment Advisor / Clinical Assistant Psychologist at the NHS, BSc Psychology 2015
The event was organised by the Division of Psychology in the Faculty of Social Sciences in partnership with the University's Careers and Employability Service.
Thomas Whitford-Bartle, who is a UK/EU Recruitment and Outreach Officer at the University of Bradford, chaired the panel session and said:"As a proud alumnus of the Psychology Department, it was an excellent project to be involved with. To bring together a diverse and representative panel, which showcased how international (including a Greek, South Korean, Romanian) and enhancing our psychology course was a great experience. The panel included many people from my year group and to see the different careers and experiences we have had since graduating two years ago, was both enlightening and captivating."
"The panel was also fortuitously timed, as it coincided with the return of my close friend Ji, who returned to Bradford for the first time in two years following the completion of his military service in South Korea! It was also brilliant to see many of our former teachers and mentors in the audience, showing their interest and support for our progress."