Tag Archives: student life

7 Transferable skills that you can learn as an Honorary Assistant Psychologist

Hello again! How is everyone getting on? it’s been a while since my last post, truth be told I have been slacking slightly on keeping up with the regular posts… but that is no excuse to keep my readers waiting in anticipation! Gosh what month are we in now… APRIL! That means that I am already two-thirds into my placement, by July I’ll be finished.. where has the time gone!

Now I can understand that some of you will be at a point where you are still trying to secure a placement. Now rest assured if that is the case then you do not have to be worried about a thing! It is often the case that you might not be finding the luck in getting the placement of your choice, but with persistent determination you’ll be bound to find one! In all honestly I think Aston students fail to acknowledge just how many placement opportunities are available, enough to go around for everyone (though of course some placements differ in quality than others)

The thought of trying to focus on your academic studies whilst applying for your placement simultaneously can be such a stressful task at times, hence why I highly recommend that you guys book yourself into a spa of some sort.

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Regardless, don’t get discouraged if you keep failing to secure a placement, chin up and keep hitting that apply button! 

However if you are one of those students who have already secured your placement, then I can certainly imagine you will be doing something like this…

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Upon securing your placement, you will have the desire to know what your new placement year will bring you, the challenges that you will encounter but most importantly the transferable skills that you will be able to take back with you into your final year studies.

Below I have nicely (tried to!) summarised the transferable skills that I have picked up on so far  whilst on my placement as an Honorary Assistant Psychologist. For those interested in the field of clinical psychology, these might be of relevance to you!

1)  In this placement, you will get many opportunities to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of psychology. You need to make sure you take as much back as you can from this placement. Make notes and learn the different therapy models (the three most relevant: Biological ,Social and Psychological) Use this time to gather ideas for your final year dissertation!

2)  This placement will guarantee you a strong insight into the field of clinical psychology. Throughout my own placement as an Honorary Assistant Psychologist in the Community Mental Health Team, I have learnt to appreciate clinical psychologists and their commitment to the field of mental health.

3)  In your placement, you will start to build up a good rapport of psychosis. There are different diagnosis levels which vary from least severe to extremely incapacitated. This diagnosis assessment helps clinical psychologists assess who requires therapy and which type in particular, whereas less severe patients are recommended to other services of which could be NHS owned or third-party.

4)  Your placement supervisors will offer you many opportunities to shadow in clinical settings and even allow you to sit in large groups where you can administer questionnaires and build up an understanding with service users. Through experience you will start to gain confidence in speaking with service users and listening to their past history whilst adjusting your behaviour and appropriateness.

5)  You will be making a good use of your IT skills throughout the year. You will be expected to have basic admin knowledge and have worked on databases using MS Excel as well as MS Word. Expect to be a pro at taking minutes in a meeting by the end of the year! 🙂

6)  As an Honorary Assistant Psychologist, you will be sitting in on Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meetings. This is where service user referrals are discussed and different professionals ranging from Psychiatrists, Junior Doctors, Support workers, Community Psychiatric Nurses and Clinical Psychologists all give their input on how to deal with this service user best. You will get to understand how team work and sharing perspectives helps make decisions especially in the Community Mental Health Team setting.

7)  Overall this placement is very relevant to clinical psychology and will benefit you and your personal growth. You will strive to be proactive, show self-initiative in your work and demonstrate confidence in your own ability.

Hope that helps!

What would you want to take back from your placement year? Let me know what you guys think in the comments section below!

Until next time!

What it’s like living abroad / in Spain

Living abroad is a scary yet exciting decision to make. It’s slightly different from moving away to live out for University since you can just casually take the train home whenever you like and whenever you’re missing your mum’s home cooked food. It’s a whole different story when you live in another country. It’s a new experience that you will remember for the rest of your life and it’s the honestly the best opportunity to learn to be independent and to gain new experiences. You decide where you would like to go and ‘break free’ from your standard home routine.

One of the biggest perks of living in a country like Spain is definitely the weather. From August to late October, the weather is beautiful (still)… but from then on, it gets a colder. Most people (myself included) assume that Spain is ‘hot’ all year round… please do NOT make the mistake of thinking this! It is most definitely not good weather all year round as I have experienced heavy rain, strong winds …almost as bad as England! Ok, maybe that was slightly exaggerated.

If you live out for University then you’re pretty much half way there to living abroad. You’ve already entered the independent life and you’re fine to fend for yourself (kinda). If you’re lucky like me, you’ll meet great people on your placement and you’ll make lots of friends! But some aren’t as lucky and find themselves quite lonely – it’s really important to venture out and at least attempt to meet new people…otherwise you’ll be isolating yourself in a foreign country that barely speaks your language! Believe me, you don’t want this to happen to you.

Money is something you have to personally watch over when you’re living abroad because before you know it, 3/4 of your Erasmus has gone and you don’t realise what and where you’ve spent it all on! Most the times you will eat lunch or dinner out and eventually that will add up. If you have a kitchen, try and cook as much as possible! But that’s not saying you can’t go out and treat yourselves to a nice meal every so often. Thankfully, we have our Erasmus and Student Loan to rely on and think about getting a part time job whilst you’re out there. I currently tutor three students every Saturday for two hours for extra English classes. My placement is unpaid so I took the initiative to get myself a job to earn some income.

Transport is great in Madrid – I pay 20 euros a month for access to the metro and buses which saves SO much money. One journey to Madrid city centre from where I live costs 3 euros 60 alone. If you’re from London, then you’ll be more than used to using the underground or taking buses… if you’re not, you’ll learn to use the metro ever so quickly and nowadays, we have smartphone apps to help us get around on them! It’s all about learning and finding your way.

Be open to trying new things…this is important. Wherever you end up, the country might not be 100% to your likings and it might not offer everything you’re used to having. Travel to different cities, try new food, meet new people – just have as much fun as possible and make the most of your time abroad. There are tons of different cuisines in Madrid – from the typical Spanish tapas to Japanese food, Chinese, Indian, Turkish etc.

The Spanish culture is very different from the English. In Spain, everyone is very laid back and some people are not so polite. There’s a lot of pushing and shoving involved on the metro and lack of personal space. But this is something that you get used to …eventually! Your normal dinner 6:30/7pm dinner routine will be pushed back to 8pm, sometimes 8:30pm. Again, something you have to adapt to and you learn about another culture whilst on your year abroad ~

The last thing you want to do is finish your year abroad regretting this and that – so make the most of it and choose your destination wisely 🙂

Tiffany

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8 Tips For Being A Successful Applicant And Securing A Psychology Placement Interview

Welcome back. Hope everyone has survived the bleak January blues. Trust me I know… the feeling of starting your day in pitch darkness and ending it in pitch darkness alongside the pleasantries of the English weather. This is by far the most depressing feeling that one should never endure.. but alas spring is nearly here. So, enough faffing about and lets crack on shall we?

Hope you are all doing well, especially with the exam season coming to an end, I bet some of you are making the most of these weeks to have a breather and prepare for the second term! Literally I can still recall sitting in one of my exams during second year half way through an essay feeling like my arm was going to fall off because I was writing too fast! Thought I’d take short break and…

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Now I know that the super duper highly organised students (and that doesn’t include me)  have most likely accepted and secured their placement offer by now.. however for those who haven’t… do not worry, for atlas help has arrived! In the form of a…. blog post! 🙂

Lol okok I’m just going to cut to the chase, I thought I’d dish out some simple yet helpful tips that can often be overlooked. I’m sure you lot will benefit from this in the long run especially when it comes down to your very own applications and interviews!

1)  You should aim to start early and keep yourself organised. Make it a weekly routine to check the Aston placements website for newly added placements.

2)  Make sure your CV is up-to-date and has been thoroughly checked over for any grammatical errors. This also applies for your cover letter. If you need support with this, it is highly recommended that you try the Aston Royal Literary Fellow service.

3)  Show your passion through interests and your dedication through experiences. An employer loves to see candidates who have a variety of experiences in different work settings.

4)  As a candidate during the interview process, you need to demonstrate a professional and confident outlook. Take pride in your achievements and don’t be afraid to talk about them even if they aren’t relevant to the placement.

5)  Be yourself! The placement employers won’t expect you to know it all. Remain calm at all times and don’t let your nerves get the better of you. When giving responses do not rush to answer, take time if you need to think of a well thought answer.

6)  Throughout the interview, remain positive, that is the key! If you ever feel at any point during the interview that you’ve given a poor response or ruined your chances, then simply “Keep Calm And Carry On”. Most interviewees experience this feeling but later it turns out that the interview went better than expected!

7)  Keep your options open, apply for as many placements as possible. The more interviews the better. Not only will this be good for your experience and confidence, but it will also show you how competent you are. Once you feel that you have enough options in the bag, start to deduce your placement offers by making comparisons taking different factors into consideration such as travel distance, job specifications, perks etc.

8)  DISCLAMIER: Please make sure you thoroughly read the job specification for the placement you are applying for. Often students miss out on the crucial details which make a huge difference in what they actually do during their placement year. For example, in terms of responsibilities and experiences, this is a significant difference between Assertive Outreach and Community Mental Health. Try researching each role carefully and try finding past placement students who have worked in either role to see their perspective on it!

Hope that helps!

Let me know what you guys think makes an interview successful in the comments section below!

Until next time!

Feria de Abril

Hola chicos y chicas 🙂

How are you? Preparing for exams? Writing essays? I know it’s hard and boring, but it’s worth it. If you have secured a placement, congratulations. If you are still looking for one, don’t get stressed ( remember what I told you about your brain cells). I only secured my placement in July which means that you still have time. Focus on your exams and  assignments then you can worry about one of the best years of your life.

On this blogpost, I’m going to tell you about the Feria de Abril. One of the bests if not the best event in Seville. It usually happens 2 weeks after Semana Santa and it is the total opposite. I’m not going to write that much because I think the pictures will do all the talking.

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The Feria de Abril usually starts with a procession around the city centre. Sevillians love the Feria as it is more relaxed than the Semana Santa.

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They have a parade of horses to announce the start of the Feria.

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The horses usually have ornaments in their face as you can see in this picture.

 

 

 

 

 

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The city is decorated with reminders of the Feria. Cruzcampo, which is one of the main beer companies in Spain, is the main provider of the reminders.

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The inside of a bus stop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Feria officially starts when they switch one the lights of the entrance at midnight. The Feria is that important, that the event is even televised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The entrance during the daytime.

The entrance during the daytime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

family in carriage

During the day you can see the carriages and you can go in one. You can also see horse riders .

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They ride the horses the old-fashioned way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

drinking

They are so used to riding the horses, that they even drink whilst on a horse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flamencas

All the girls wear flamenco dresses, which can be quite expensive. For you to have an idea, some girls pay 800 euros for a dress.

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caseta

In the Feria they have a number of casetas. Casetas are little houses where you can get a drink or some food. They also have a DJ or a band.

 

 

 

 

 

 

private casetas

The casetas can be private or public. If they are private, you need to know one of the partners that will let you in, otherwise you have to go to a public one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Me and the girls in a public caseta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

plaza de toros

The Feria also represent the beginning of the Bullfights’ events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Feria was one of the highlights of my placement year because since I got here, I always said that I wanted to wear a flamenco dress and the Feria gave me the opportunity to do so. Now, you can see some pictures of me on my flamenco dress.

 

 

Me and the girls from the office.

Me and the girls from the office. (Celia and Lilly)

Me and my flatmate.

Me and my flatmate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me and Julia (One of the ladies from the office. I call her Pocahontas)

Me and Julia (One of the ladies from the office. I call her Pocahontas)

Me and Nastja (one of the interns in the office).

Me and Nastja (one of the interns in the office).

Julia (a.k.a Pocahontas) taught me how to dance the sevillana, however I will not post the video of me dancing. In this picture you notice the details of the mantocillo ( the scarf she has in her chest)

Julia (a.k.a Pocahontas) taught me how to dance the sevillana, however I will not post the video of me dancing. In this picture you can notice the details of the mantocillo  ( the scarf she has in her chest) thata the traditional girls wear.

Ladies dancing the Sevillana

Ladies dancing the Sevillana

 

Ladies dancing the Sevillana in a private caseta.

Ladies dancing the Sevillana in a private caseta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Feria finished with a firework show. To be honest I’m really sad because I really enjoyed the Feria. Everyone was so happy and relaxed and ready to have fun. If I come back to Seville ( which I will) it will be during the Feria as it is the best time to be here. If you come to do your placement in Spain, take a week off during the Feria and come to Seville.

I wanted to say thank you to all the girls for letting me post these pictures, especially to Celia for taking some of the photos.

Good Luck with your exams and assignments and I will come back next month with some placement advice.

Until then,
Hasta Luego 🙂

Semana Santa

(Please be aware as this blog post may contain pictures that may cause distress)

Hola chicos y chicas,

How are you and how is your placement search going?  I guess some of you may have secured your placement while others are still looking. Don’t get stressed because like I always tell you, you still have time.  You can still find an amazing internship abroad or in the UK. Why don’t you broaden your horizons and become more flexible about the roles and the salary or maybe the location. You might get lucky  😉

 

Nonetheless, I came here to tell you about one of the most exciting weeks in Seville. Semana Santa (Holy week). Seville is known for its celebration of the Semana Santa because of the breath-taking processions and the streets filled with tourists and locals that came to see their “Virgen”. This is how it works, every church has its virgin and the older churches also have a brotherhood. So they come out and walk around Seville for hours with a statue of their virgin and one from Jesus’ path to crucifixion. They also have the ‘nazarenos’ which can be mistaken by Ku Klux Klan because of their outfits, however their outfits have a different meaning, like they are different (so calm down). In the past they used to wear the overall and the hats to hide their identity as they were ashamed of their sins and they did not want to be labelled as penitents. If you look closer you can see that the outfits are different.

WP_20150330_002 WP_20150330_003 WP_20150330_004 WP_20150330_011 WP_20150330_012 WP_20150330_014 WP_20150330_015 WP_20150330_024(Please don’t ask me the same thing that my brother asked me, “Ana,  OMG no one was arrested?”)

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The adventures of a placement student

Hola chicos y chicas !!!!

I know it has been a while but I hope everything is going well with your placement search.On this blog post I will be telling you about my new adventure.  YYYYYYEEEEEEAAAAHHHHHH.So, I red in this article that people that like to travel a lot have this gene called wanderlust gene. I think mine has started to manifest as now I’m always travelling or planning trips. So, this time I went to Africa.

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I spent 4 days in busy Marrakech and I can tell you that I would definitely go back, just for shopping. Marrakech is completely different to every place that I have been and as soon as I got there I got a cultural shock. There were donkeys on the road, people crossing the road without looking, motorcycles everywhere with the whole family on top. Different stairs, cats everywhere and people calling all sorts of things just to get your attention ( They called me Shakira, like, do I look like Shakira). I was shocked.

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Fiesta Time

Hola chicos y chicas,

 

How is the placement search going? I hope you are all on the interview stages now and I promise my next post will be about interviews. So keep an eye on the blog.

Like promised, I came to tell you about my new adventure. It was like a week ago but I have been so busy that I did not have time to write a post. Please, forgive me.

On the 14th of February, some of you were out and about celebrating with your other half, others were with their friends while the rest stayed at home and pretended that Valentine’s Day doesn’t bother them (yes, I just said this and I was talking about you). I have told you before to stop lying to yourself that is a disadvantage when looking for a placement. Anyways, I’m here to talk about what I did on my Valentine’s Day, which was….

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CELEBRATE CARNIVAL, YEEEEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHH

Yes, chicos y chicas. I celebrated Carnival and it was such an experience.  Thousands of students from different countries, studying and working in different cities all came down to celebrate the same thing. There were a lot of different costumes and I can tell you that the Spaniards had the best costumes. See what experience does!!!  I met amazing people during Carnival and I had so much fun. See that is one of the reasons why I think you should do your placement year abroad and experience the culture. It turns you into an open minded, experienced and grateful individual. At the end of your placement you will be a completely different individual. So now enjoy my pictures from Carnival and watch the video below.

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Estoy enamorada!!! (I’m in love)

Hola chicos y chicas!!!

 

I wasn’t supposed to write about any of my adventures until the C**** (it’s a secret).However, I had to share with you my experience and the events of Friday and Saturday night (sorry to disappoint but it does not involve alcohol).  My flatmate took me to this flamenco bar, a really small and dark place (you can judge because I did the same).

la carboneria

I didn’t expect much from it, I thought they were just going to play some flamenco music over the radio, or play some videos of famous flamenco dancers, or something similar.  I was surprised when I heard a deep voice sing an emotional song. I felt every single word that came out of the singer’s mouth.  Instead of describing it, I’m going to let you listen to it.

 

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