My choice to study psychology at university stemmed from a desire to help people and over the years I have wanted to develop my skills in order to do so. I hope to gain a lot of experience in making a difference in people’s lives so that eventually I can have a career in this field. Through my previous work experience I have developed people skills; I enjoy working on my own and with other people. I have also gained experience in working towards targets, under pressure and within time limits. Recently, I have worked with The National Autistic Society where I work solely with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This job has equipped me with skills and knowledge needed in order to support individuals with ASD well. I also have previous experience from my role with Cornerstone Community Care, Moorpark Place and The Richmond Fellowship Scotland where I worked with people with a range of disorders from Autism Spectrum Disorder to Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. These roles have helped me deepen my understanding of how each individual has different individual needs, has equipped me with skills in communication, dealing with challenging behaviour and is equipping me with the skills to do all I can to help each person.
I have also taken part in training with the National Autistic Society, Suicide and Self-Harm training and training with Victim Support Scotland. These training sessions equipped me with a better understanding of how to help people in different situations. I also have personal experience with Autism through friendship with an individual with Asperger’s Syndrome. Gaining knowledge about developmental disorders such as Autism through my course at university and through this friendship I have gained a great passion for doing what I can to help people and make a difference.
Furthermore, during university I have gained many practical skills (including leadership skills) which will help me in this role. I was involved with a peer tutoring scheme. This role involved providing guidance to third year students who had the task of creating a video and an information sheet about different types of identity (race, sexuality, gender and age). Our responsibility as peer tutors was to provide guidance and support to students by answering any questions, asking about how they would tackle the problem and to facilitate the flow of ideas. Peer tutors were also asked to keep a reflective diary after each session to write down our assessment of the session, the good and bad points about the session and what we would bring to the next session. This experience really helped me build up my confidence. I felt I learned how to deal with problems in the sessions and felt that I was competent in providing help. I believe that this enhanced my willingness to help others, helped me grow in confidence and provided me with skills which will be essential for my working role in the future.
I also have further personal experience through my grandparent’s suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s and strokes and also my uncle’s suffering of Korsakoff’s syndrome. This developed my understanding of these disorders and through watching the care they received, the effect on immediate family members and friends, this fuelled my passion further for providing help to people and making a difference wherever I can. Through the experiences I have listed here I have developed a strong passion for helping people and believe I have the skills and determination to do so. I have gained valuable experience as a carer and can identify with the workload, pressures and needs of carers. I also own a full UK driving license and a car which makes travelling to and from various locations easier.