I was lucky enough to do a placement year as part of my undergraduate course and I chose to do a psychology research placement at the University of Kent. It was an outstanding experience for me and it taught me a lot about my options and more specifically, what it is like to be an academic conducting research which is what I want to do in the future.
My placement provided me with a lot of opportunities to work on a wide range of research projects and I was able to work with some amazing researchers at the University. When I had my first meeting with some of the researchers, I was so nervous because I was worried about making a good first impression. I had nothing to worry about, everyone was so nice and helpful which has been my experience since the start of my placement.
I had many tasks during my time on placement but the one that I most enjoyed was the time I spent helping with data collection as this gave me the opportunity to interact with participants and other researchers. This helped me to develop key skills such as communication and interpersonal skills that I could add to my CV. Additionally, I developed my research skills by being able to conduct more advanced data analysis techniques, gain more experience of creating surveys and learn what it is like to apply for research ethics.
I was surprised by how quickly my time went and how much I achieved during my time on placement. At times, I was really thrown in at the deep end but that made it all the more rewarding. For example, I was asked to code qualitative responses which is something I have never done before. However, this is another skill that I now have which I can apply to my future research projects.
Overall, my experience on placement was amazing and I learnt a lot not just about the research processes but also about myself. I now have so much more confidence in myself and my abilities and that is all because of what I have achieved during my placement. I recommend that anyone thinking about taking part in a work experience or a work placement should do it. You will gain so much from the experience and the University of Kent Work Experience Bursary makes it easier to cover some of the potential costs that you may have. I feel like I have a better understanding of my future career path and what I need to do now to achieve it.
– Christie Marsh is going into her final year of Applied Psychology.