What have you been up to since leaving One?
Since studying at One I have been to the University of Essex, started a Master's degree with Buckinghamshire New University and started working for a partnership organisation of the NHS: Suffolk wellbeing. I have also found time to travel around Europe and Canada and completed a two-year volunteering programme with a local addiction rehabilitation centre.
Please could you tell us what your favourite things about studying at One were or what you may miss most about studying here?
My favourite thing about One was, without a doubt, the staff. Each one was so passionate about their subject, it was an inspiring environment to be in. Everyone was so honest and genuine- if you worked hard, the staff would go above and beyond to support you. One installed a work ethic within me that made the transition to university easy. We were treated and respected in accordance to how we acted, which gets you ready for the real world. I can't rate One highly enough.
Could you tell us more about your intended career path or current/planned studies?
I have recently been promoted to a Senior adviser within the trust. I am working full time, and my official title is "Senior Employment Retention Adviser." Our team works as part of the Suffolk Wellbeing Service in the NHS to help patients return to work following a period of depression, anxiety etc. We liaise with employers to ensure they are returning to work under the best of circumstances and work closely with the CBT therapists, Psychological wellbeing therapists and assistant psychologists to make sure each patient's care pathway is the best it can be. I am also studying for a Master's degree in Applied Positive Psychology. I am due to finish this next May, in November of this year I am going to complete an application for a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology with Norwich UEA. I am hoping with this, I would eventually be able to set up my own private practise but focusing on the good things in life rather than the bad. I want to become a Dr of Happiness.
Is this career path something you always had in mind, or what made your come to this decision?
I certainly did not have this career path in mind before One. I wanted to do Drama and even attended Lincoln University for 12 days studying drama before transferring to Essex to do Psychology.
I have always been interested in people, which is why I chose Psychology A Level, but I found I really didn't enjoy it to begin with! My parents attended a concerns evening at One as I was not achieving above E grades at first. Like many my age, I was scared to ask for help. We began studying "independent and dependent variables" – this was the push I needed to ask for help! I decided to speak up - I emailed my teacher and explained my struggles and asked if they could spare a lunch time to help me. This completely changed everything. It was clear I wanted to understand, I wanted to get good grades in Psychology, I was just worried about asking for help. The teaching was the best – I was given all the help I asked for. My grades started to improve and in turn so did my confidence. I ended up leaving One with an A grade in Psychology! This is still one of my proudest achievements to date. I realised the best feeling was knowing just how hard I had to work to get that result. How difficult I knew the study was and yet I had managed to achieve. I wasn't finished with that feeling and I felt somewhat deflated when I went to University to study Drama - my heart just wasn't in it anymore. Within 12 days I returned to One and asked for help with transferring me to a University with higher entry requirements to study Psychology. I couldn't do the job I am in now if I hasn't achieved my degree. If I didn't take the help offered at One I 100% would not be in my current position. I believe any student studying with One should realise how lucky they are and utilise every opportunity One presents to them.
How did your A Levels help you to prepare for your next step?
My A Levels taught me the real meaning of revision and work ethic. This has helped me through every step of my career and study since. I truly believe every course I studied (Psychology, Sociology, Drama and Theatre Studies and Photography) was so well structured it prepares you for whatever comes next. If you didn't put the work in, you wouldn't get the results. If you did put the work in, the support available was second to none and would push you to get the very best you could.
What advice would you give to students to help them prepare for their next steps?
The teaching you are provided with at One, in my opinion, is the best you will ever come across. The student experience could not be better. But remember, you only get out what you put in. If you are making a real effort with your studies, then the staff will stop at nothing to support you in the best way they can. Always listen to your PPT (Personal Progress Tutor) and stick to deadlines!