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Jessica Greener

Career Path: Research Assistant, Northumbria University
Location: Newcastle, UK

Jessica GreenerWhen I graduated from my undergraduate degree in Psychology I knew that I wanted to continue with it but with a specific focus on neuroscience, biology and health behaviours. I therefore decided to go onto the Health Psychology masters course at Northumbria University which only increased my passion for the subject. I then spent a year working in the NHS as a data quality assistant to learn how the healthcare system in this country is run and to network with healthcare professionals.

What are you doing now?

I recently secured a job more aliened to my line of study and I am now a research assistant at the BPNRC at the University, allowing me to be involved in research surrounding topics i am passionate about.

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

I studied my undergraduate degree at Northumbria and had no doubt in my mind that I would continue my education here with a masters course. I also hope to go onto studying a PHD at Northumbria. The staff are amazing and their research is inspiring. Northumbria has a warm and friendly atmosphere that other universities didn't have when I was making my choice at 18.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

The assignments and assessments throughout my masters were aimed at showing the students what type of work they would be doing in a career as a Health Psychologist. Instead of just writing essay after essay, we had the opportunity to conduct our own research, write up reports, design health promotion campaigns, and even measure our own stress responses through our cortisol levels.

How connected was your course with industry?

As stated above we were able to carry out projects that would prepare us for the type of work we would be faced with if we were to purse a career in the field. I feel this has made me more skilled than others who may be applying for the same position.

What was the best thing about your course?

The best thing about studying a masters at the University was the staff. They were incredibly supportive and carry on to be supportive even after you have finished the course. I have messaged my lecturers multiple times since leaving the course to ask for advice and they are always extremely helpful and approachable.

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

The practical skills I gained, such as working with EEG equipment and understanding the process of measuring cortisol levels through saliva samples, allows me to stand out from other applicants when applying for roles in research.

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

Presentation skills, the ability to collect and analyse data, the ability to build up a rapport with participants, scientific writing skills, and the understanding of ethical considerations in research.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The friendships I made and the facilities there were for studying either on my own or for group work.

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

I would tell them that it should definitely be their first choice as I thoroughly enjoyed my four years there at undergraduate and postgraduate. So much so that I now even work for the University and I could not think of a better place to work. I would also suggest joining one of the many societies they have on offer as one of my biggest regrets is not getting more involved with the society's that are offered at Northumbria.

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

Inspiring, stimulating, memorable

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