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Getting experience during psychology degree

I’m starting a degree in psychology in September - i know how hard it can be to get experience/ jobs with a psychology degree, so id like to start planning ahead (especially since the uni doesn’t offer placements :/ )
i would like to get a part time job as a healthcare assistant or similar at some point during the degree - although i’m not sure how this will work with needing to go back home for summer? it might be best to do this throughout second year or maybe third?
Would it be useful to try get volunteering experiences now in a care home / hospital ward etc. to help me get a job like that during uni ? Would it be better to wait until I’ve started the course to start looking for volunteering opportunities?
Also, would having a part time job in healthcare help me in getting a job after university such as a support worker / MH care assistant and eventually assistant psychologist? Or maybe i could just volunteer somewhere relevant during university instead (care home/hospital)? i’d possibly like to find a job in something like tutoring during uni too in that case
I’d say try and get relevant experience before joining the course as it can get quite busy plus its one less stressful thing to have to worry about.
IN terms of healthcare assitant im sure they will let you continue this on if u get it in first year and let u hv the summers back home but id discuss this with them first.
Take care
Hello again :smile:

Your university should hopefully advertise opportunities for internships and volunteering placements to you, either on lectures, on a dedicated careers website run by the university or by email. I find that my uni sends me an awful lot of emails advertising work experience. A lot of it is a bit rubbish - not related to what I want to do or my degree, or is only open only for second/third year students, etc, but there are some gems in there so never delete an email by your university without checking it first. You might also be able to find experience if you search for it online and mental health/mentoring charities are a great place to get involved with - charities like https://www.reachoutuk.org/ spring to mind, although volunteering at a care home or with the NHS will also look wonderful on your CV and you can do this before you even go off to uni.

You can get a part-time job as a healthcare assistant although that's a bit tricky, they often want significant previous experience in a medical/healthcare setting - welcome to the timeless problem of needing experience to get experience :s-smilie: Volunteering beforehand in hospitals is probably the workaround in this situation but I wouldn't know. In any case, getting a job or volunteering on a healthcare setting will look good when applying for psychological roles such as AP after your degree. If you get to work or volunteer at a hospital, take every chance you get to speak to any professional and network too. You'll learn an awful lot and it might come in handy later down the line!
(edited 5 months ago)
Original post by elizabethtec
I’m starting a degree in psychology in September - i know how hard it can be to get experience/ jobs with a psychology degree, so id like to start planning ahead (especially since the uni doesn’t offer placements :/ )
i would like to get a part time job as a healthcare assistant or similar at some point during the degree - although i’m not sure how this will work with needing to go back home for summer? it might be best to do this throughout second year or maybe third?
Would it be useful to try get volunteering experiences now in a care home / hospital ward etc. to help me get a job like that during uni ? Would it be better to wait until I’ve started the course to start looking for volunteering opportunities?
Also, would having a part time job in healthcare help me in getting a job after university such as a support worker / MH care assistant and eventually assistant psychologist? Or maybe i could just volunteer somewhere relevant during university instead (care home/hospital)? i’d possibly like to find a job in something like tutoring during uni too in that case

Hi! The type of work you should look into during your degree really depends on what sort of job or future education you want to pursue. If you are aiming for clinical psychology (DClinPsy), then definitely looking into jobs or volunteering at care homes, or local charities would be useful. For example, mental health helplines, befriending elderly people, charities for individuals with learning difficulties, etc. Unless you need the money, I would recommend not committing to a job with too many hours during your first year of university! It's important to make the most of socialising, adjusting to uni life, joining societies etc.
Additionally, getting experience with research can also be useful. Your university may offer formal research placements or you may be able to reach out to lecturers and ask if they need any help with their projects! Don't be scared to show enthusiasm, in my experience every faculty member I've spoken to has been more than happy to show me what they're doing and give advice.
Good luck with your future studies!
-Kat (2nd year psychology undergraduate at Lancaster University)
Reply 4
Hi, if your looking for maybe once a week volunteering work look on citizens advice within your area on the witness service. They do provide you with I think a few months training before you start and you can get accredited into community support too for witnesses going to court and need that extra bit of support.

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