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Charlotte Emmerson

Career Path: PhD Researcher and Demonstrator, Northumbria University
Location: Durham, UK

Charlotte EmmersonAfter graduating my undergraduate Psychology degree in 2014, I began pursuing a career in Educational Psychology. I had undertaken a placement in my third year where I supported children with autism. Using the experience I gained during my placement, I worked in schools and within disability support before becoming a Team Leader at the National Autistic Society. My professional experiences helped me realise that Educational Psychology wasn't for me and that what I really enjoyed within my leadership role was supporting my colleagues. After researching future directions I could take, I found the MSc Occupational & Organisational Psychology. This was a great decision as it helped me segue onto a different career path that I would truly enjoy.

What are you doing now?

I am currently undertaking a PhD researcher within the Psychology department at Northumbria University, researching workplace bullying within healthcare.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

What I love about Northumbria is how supportive the university is. The lecturers have an open door policy and go above and beyond to support the students. The Students' Union has a range of support available too and actively encourage everyone to get involved.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

Studying at Northumbria was a truly well-rounded experience. The combination of lectures, small seminars, and opportunities to work with your peers really enables you to develop academically and personally. Guest lecturers are invited in frequently which gives you a great feel for what else is available for you out there and ways that you can progress.

How connected was your course with industry?

The lecturers on my course actively work within the area of occupational psychology. They were able to give us practical knowledge that we could apply to real life situations. There were several opportunities to work with local organisations as part of our dissertation, giving us highly sought after and relevant experience. Our lecturers have were able to give us lots of useful advice concerning our careers and how best to pursue our preferred paths. Even after graduation, my lecturers kept in touch and shared opportunities with me that they knew would interest me.

What was the best thing about your course?

The best thing about my course was having the option to change my career path. It's difficult thinking that you have already put in so much effort and time into a career that you realise isn't for you. Being able to head in a different direction and pursue something you truly care about is a great feeling. My lecturers and peers were incredibly supportive of my choice and made my transition into a new industry a very positive experience.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

Studying at Northumbria helped me get into a PhD as my course developed my research skills and area knowledge. I was given the skills to apply my knowledge to a variety of situations, including practical tasks within relevant careers.

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

I learned many research skills that I now apply everyday in my PhD research. Having that knowledge and experience, I have been able to successfully develop my research proposal and I look forward to the rest of my PhD where I aim to develop and evaluate an intervention that will reduce workplace bullying within healthcare.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

For anyone that is considering studying at Northumbria, I would definitely recommend to have a look around and see where would give you the most opportunities to develop professionally as well as academically. Northumbria University has a large range of placements available that help you build practical skills and experience, this is vital for getting a relevant job after graduation. The Students' Union also has many societies and projects that can also develop your skills and build your CV.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Ambitious, supported and worthwhile.

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