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Elouise Leonard-Cross

MSc Occupational Psychology Elouise Leonard -CrossI completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology and following graduation worked in a range of roles, including a training role in retail which led me to work in L&D in the NHS. I worked in a range of roles within HR&D and when taking on my first management role (Training & Recruitment Manager) decided I would benefit from going back to study part time. I enjoyed my undergraduate degree and could see the value of psychologically informed practice in organisations so chose the MSc in Occupational Psychology at Northumbria as I felt it would enhance my current practice and offer a good basis to progress my career. After completing my Masters I undertook my chartership with the BPS to become a fully qualified Occupational psychologist.

What are you doing now?

Head of Organisational Development & Learning for Home Group, responsible for people development projects and learning for over 3,500 colleagues across the UK. I manage a team of OD professionals, some of whom are Occupational Psychologists, a Learning & Development team and shared administration function.

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

The qualification was delivered by Occupational Psychologists with experience in industry so I knew I would get a great quality learning experience which was underpinned by applied practice.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

The course had a mix of lectures and workshops. I liked the fact there was self-led learning and collaborative projects as this reflected working within an organisation. The range of subjects covered meant the qualification gave me a great grounding to work in a range of areas and the confidence to take on broader projects. The programme was delivered to a much smaller group than my undergraduate degree which allowed for time to discuss and share ideas, adding to the richness of the learning experience.

What impressed you most about our academic staff?

Experience in industry and ability to use work experience to create engaging and insightful learning sessions. Staff were generous with their professional network and this included the opportunity to visit other organisations to see Occupational Psychology in practice.

How connected was your course with industry?

We had guest lectures and there was a session specifically on applied skills - to hear from past graduates on the range of areas they had gone on to work in. I was working whilst studying part time so I was able to directly apply much of my learning to my role to benefit the organsiation, for example by introducing a talent programme.

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

I gained a breadth of knowledge and applied skills that allowed me to work in a range of areas. This has supported me in achieving a number of promotions since graduating.

What was the best thing about your course?

 Application of knowledge - the entire programme was designed to be used in professional practice

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

Influencing - selling an idea or concept but putting over a balanced and considered view, via a written report, presentation or conversation.

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

The breadth and depth of learning

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

Carefully consider the programme - does both the content and delivery model fit what you need? It can be tough when studying (particularly assignments or dissertation) so making sure your choice is the best fit for you will help you stick with it to graduation and get the most from the experience.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

 Insightful, stimulating, varied

For more information about me see:

  • LinkedIn: Elouise Leonard-Cross

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