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Holly Cullen

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

I really enjoyed my time at Northumbria and feel that I gained valuable experience and an excellent degree. I made the most of University facilities and felt very comfortable as a student due to the warm welcome from everyone at Northumbria. The different locations of campuses is convenient and facilities are excellent.  I also felt confident in my employability once I graduated.

What did you think of the academic support provided on the course?

Throughout my time at Northumbria I felt very comfortable and confident to seek academic support when needed. As the course numbers were fairly low this meant that students and lecturers got to know one another relatively well and they were happy to help with all queries. I felt that academic support was readily available and that staff were encouraging of personal academic progress. 

What was the best thing about the course?

The best aspects of the course were learning about and comparing the varied brief approaches of guidance and counselling. Once I gained basic knowledge of the approaches I was able to quickly understand and recognise the different skills that are used in each. I particularly enjoyed lectures that introduced a new approach and featured videos of real life practice. Attending talks from guest speakers and specialist lecturers was also interesting, in particular the lectures provided on substance use. I also enjoyed attending placements and gaining practical experience, allowing me to put theory into practice.

What skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

Working with students ranging from age 11-19, I have used skills taken from counselling approaches such as motivational interviewing and solution focused therapy. In particular, I find myself asking solution focused questions, harnessing positivity and using goal setting to work with students.  Specifically within the Sixth Form, I apply techniques used in motivational interviewing such as active listening and reinforcing motivation. Whilst working with the Sixth Form students I also use my knowledge and experience of mentoring and career guidance. The skills and knowledge I learnt from my degree do help with this and now I use mentoring and career guidance on a weekly basis. 

What advice would you give to students thinking of studying on your course?

I have no regrets on choosing to study this course at Northumbria and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the relevant sectors. I would advise that they are prepared, motivated and organised. Students should enrol with a willingness to learn, an open mind and confidence. My advice would include to make the most of university resources (academic and non-academic), make friends where possible and make sure you are passionate.

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