I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to write this post but now I’ve come to it I realise that my life is so different now and it’s only just started to sink in. Although I am still waiting for my graduation to come around (and until then I won’t be able to properly let go of uni at Worcester), the next chapters of my life is very much underway.
There’s quite a lot that I need to document on this blog so I guess I’ll start with the question everyone wants to ask a recent graduate (or almost graduate) – what are you doing now that you have finished university? I think this is the question that everyone wants to know and the question everyone finishing uni dreads. I am very lucky and pleased to say that I have fallen on my feet in terms of grad life but I know not everyone is in the same boat so if you’re facing the grad life blues please don’t let this blog make you nervous. We are all in this together and there is no race when it comes to where life leads! Also, just a heads up this will probably be a long post so a pat on the back in advance if you make it to the end.
Before I fill you in on what I am doing, I thought I would give you some back story in regards to my pursuit of graduate employment. Throughout my degree I was so aware of how competitive the field would be when I finished university. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age having a degree alone is not enough to make you stand out to employers so I said yes to every possible opportunity for personal/professional development during my three years in Worcester. Some examples include;
- 3 years working for the Student Support and Wellbeing Service at the University of Worcester as a wellbeing champion
- 2 years working as a digital ambassador and 3 years as a student life blogger for the University of Worcester
- 1 year as musical director and 1 years as musical director and chairperson on Loco Show Co musical theatre society
- Completing the Worcester Award and being awarded Outstanding Overall Performance.
- Spending my summers working as a musician for the Alzheimer’s Society
- 1 year working as a Welcome Desk Assistant at Worcester Students’ Union
However, not even this was enough to save me from the constant rejection. I must have applied (and got rejected) from 30+ job applications for roles such as Assistant Psychologists, Trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner and Therapy Assistants etc. I tried to get feedback and take the positive from this but it was honestly causing me such anxiety.
After reassessing and realising these roles were out of my reach at the moment, I decided to adjust what I was searching for and as if by fate I came across a position available in West Mercia Women’s Aid. I applied and managed to get an interview and was offered the role the same day I went! The CEO of the organisation said it was the best interview she had seen in a fair while and I honestly couldn’t believe my luck.
I started on the 5th August as the ‘Outreach Support and Advocacy Worker’ on something called the EDNA project. My role involves providing 121 support with victims of domestic abuse whose experiences are coupled with complex needs such a mental illness, substance misuse, dementia or a criminal record etc. I am loving it so much and feel like this role was meant for me – I get to spend my first experience as a young professional helping women and children who are fleeing from domestic abuse. My initial contract was for 11 hours per week but since working there (only for 2 months) I have now been promoted to group facilitator alongside my initial role meaning I am on more pay, 27 hours per week and am responsible for delivering the training programs run by Women’s Aid to groups of clients. I’m based on Hereford so am commuting from Abergavenny each day.
This will probably be all you’ll hear about my role as it is not something I am willing or able to discuss due to confidentiality and respecting the safety of my clients. Just know that I am loving it despite it being challenging and upsetting at times.
MSc Clinical Psychology
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking that that’s it but if you don’t know already I am a crazy gal who has an inability to say no to an opportunity or slow down. Alongside my work with WMWA, I am completing a MSc in Clinical Psychology at the University of South Wales (part-time 17.5 hours per week). I started on the 24th September and have finally settled in to a routine and am thoroughly enjoying it so far.
It is SUCH a step up from undergraduate level in regards to the level of content and what is expected from you by the lecturers – they treat you as colleagues and psychologists in training rather than students so it is hard core but fantastic at the same time. I’m sure I’ll be enjoying it less as assessments start to creep up but for the time being I am happy.
For so long, I was so unsure as to whether I should pursue further education or graduate employment and it has worked out that I have been able to do both. I’m also looking at doing a placement with the masters this year to fully make the most of my time there but that might be pushing it even for me!
Doing the masters part time means that the workload is split in the following ways;
- Module 1 – Interventions
- Module 2 – History, Concepts and Controversies in Mental Health
- Module 3 – Addiction, Dependence and Deviance
- Module 4 – Perspectives on Psychological Disorders
- Research Methods
- Postgraduate Research Project (Dissertation)
I am so happy I am chosen part time as it means I can take things at a slower pace and give my full commitment to both my job and the masters degree without compromising the quality of either.
Abergavenny Pantomime Company.
On top of that, Alex and I have decided to rejoin our old panto company at home for their upcoming production of ‘Aladdin.’ I realise I’ve gone on for far too long with this post so I won’t give too many details just yet but rehearsals are underway and auditions are next week – send me positive vibes for the role of Princess Jasmine please guys!
So yeah there you have it with a little life update of what I’m doing at the moment. I hope any other graduates out there are getting on okay with grad life too!