A week in the life of a psychology placement student
Being able find experience in psychology is never easy – so when my university advertised a placement opportunity, I knew I had to grab it! As a psychology student in the UK considering the challenges and competition for psychology related experience and programmes, I couldn’t have made a better decision for myself.
Before I started my placement year, I remember being very anxious, not knowing what the following year at the research unit would be like. I searched online for similar experiences that other people may have had but much to my surprise there was nothing. So, 6 months into my placement year, I decided it was time for me to share my experiences by highlighting and sharing a typical week in the life of as a psychology placement student working at the Youth Mental Health Research Unit (JUICE).
A look at my week...
Mondays are usually the busiest days for JUICE. I start my Monday with a quick catch up with the Research Assistants, then I check and reply to any emails. Every fortnight we have a JUICE team meeting to discuss any issues or tasks that need to be completed or addressed. This meeting is also a nice time for the whole team to get together for a catch up. I also attend the Bipolar At-Risk Trial (BART II) team meeting where we chat about recruitment and liaison strategies. After a busy morning of meetings, I set to work on any assigned tasks such as admin or preparing resources.
Not every week looks the same, typically my week will vary depending on the tasks that I am assigned and any upcoming events or key dates. However, I have found my time as a placement student at JUICE to be extremely rewarding and eye opening.
This placement has made me better prepared and more competitive in the field of psychology. I have learned so much by being a part of a wonderful research team like JUICE. This experience has equipped me with many new skills, for example, communication, collaboration and confidence. I now have more knowledge of what it takes to work in this field, and I understand what is needed to work with other psychology researchers and professionals.
I know it can feel scary to go work in an environment that you may not be familiar with but once you get started the experience will be worth it! During my time as a psychology placement student, I have learned so much more than I would from my university lectures or seminars. So, if you are considering doing a psychology placement and are currently weighing the pros and cons – trust me the pros outweigh the cons by a lot!