Jordan Landsborough

Jordan Landsborough, an Applied Psychology and Sociology BA(Hons) student, has gained work experience in the SU’s Health and Wellbeing team and with the student-led wellbeing initiative Mood Boost. We asked her about her work experience and about her course.

Why did you choose to study Applied Psychology and Sociology BA(Hons) at University of Brighton?
I really enjoyed studying psychology and sociology at A-Level, and Brighton was one of the only places that had a 60:40 split between these subjects. I liked the idea of being able to continue with both subjects and get the psychology element accredited. My course is also applied to the real world, which is really, really important for jobs in psychology.

I basically went to the open day, spoke to the course team, and fell in love with the place. I was like “yep that’s where I’m going”. I’m now in my final year and I’ve loved every minute of it.

Tell us about your work experience
I have worked as the Health and Wellbeing assistant at Brighton Students’ Union, helping to support students on a range of issues such as mental health, sexual health and housing. I have gained so many skills that I didn’t realise I would, having helped to run lots of campaigns and events. I have also made quite a few valuable connections from working with external partner organisations.

I have also worked as a volunteer coach for the student-led wellbeing initiative Mood Boost, helping other students who are experiencing low mood, stress and anxiety to develop practical coping skills. I have had the opportunity to improve my presentation and public speaking skills and learn how to work effectively in a group alongside my co-facilitators. Being able to work in a group dynamic is key to many job roles so being able to learn and perfect those skills early on is really valuable.

Do you recommend doing work experience and getting involved in activities outside of your course?
Absolutely. Second year was the busiest year in terms of course work. I also took on two volunteering roles with the YMCA and Mood Boost and the job at the SU. Looking back on that year, I don’t quite know how I did it. But I am also glad and proud that I did. Getting all this work experience has given me so many valuable experiences, skills, connections and training opportunities.

I’ve recently taken on a new part-time job as a mental health support worker. Literally the day after I handed in the application, I got a phone call and the interviewer said that all my work experience in mental health had really caught her attention. So, work experience really does help. Students don’t necessarily listen to lecturers when they recommend that we go out and get experience, but I am definitely glad I did.

Do you know what you’d like to do after your course?
I’d like to do a PhD and a doctorate before becoming a clinical psychologist. It takes a very long time to get there but mental health is something I’m really passionate about. When I finish this year, I plan to take a year out and gain some more work experience. I want to give myself time to make sure that my next step is the right step for me. I would then hope to do a Masters, but again I want to make sure I do the right one for me. After the Masters, I will probably work again for a bit before I get accepted onto a doctorate programme because clinical psychology is a very competitive area.

Do you feel like you have been supported throughout your course?
I definitely feel supported on the course. We are given a lot of opportunities to give feedback through course reps, module evaluations, plus every year our tutor sends us an email to say, “I’m here if you want to come and see me. Feel free to drop in about anything”. The support is always there. I think people don’t always take it, but when you do it’s really, really valuable. The tutors know a lot more about the field and more about how the uni works with things like assessments than we do. They really do want to support us in learning and improving ourselves, not just academically but in other ways. My personal tutor has definitely been really, really helpful and I’m glad they have been there.

What three words would you choose to describe your experience at University of Brighton?
Exciting, knowledgeable and engaging.

Tell us more?
Exciting because I’ve loved every minute of my course and every minute of being here. It’s exactly what I wanted it to be. I’ve met new people, learnt new things, been supported. I can’t fault it. It’s been everything I’ve wanted it to be and I don’t want to leave. The lecturers are amazing and there’s always been something happening and something to do and, yeah, I’ve just loved it.

Knowledgeable because I have learnt a lot more about the fields of psychology and sociology. I have also gained knowledge about myself and how I learn and what skills I have. I have also learnt to write academically, which is obviously going to be really useful for me in the future especially when it comes to writing psychology reports and things like that.

Engaging because there has always been something going on that makes me want to go to uni or turn up for a lecture. The lecturers try and engage us in different ways. There’s always something different. It’s not a boring course.

Do you have any advice for other students?
Take all the possible opportunities that you can. Just remember to look after yourself at the same time. In second year, I was always very busy, but through Mood Boost I was always very conscious of planning my time well and making sure I planned in time to look after myself.

Can you give us a few tips around self-care that you have gained from Mood Boost and your studies?
Mood Boost really makes you think about how your mind works and how you go about your day-to-day life. It teaches you to be more in touch with yourself. It’s so easy in our busy lives to just sort of feel stressed and not do much about it. Instead, actually think about why you’re stressed rather than suppress it all, because at the end of the day that’s what will help you to move on.

Then find activities that help to promote your wellbeing. Personally, I’m quite active so I like to spend time outside. There are so many beautiful areas in Brighton to go visit, which I think a lot of students who move here don’t know about. The beach has also always been one of my happy places and I enjoy going there to chill and take time for myself. I think it’s also fine to just have a Netflix day if you need one. Or treat yourself to a relaxing bubble bath or something like that. Then the next day, when you’re feeling rested, you’re ready to go again. Building these habits into your everyday life will help to positively impact your wellbeing in the long-term.

If you are a University of Brighton student who would like to share your placement or work experience story, please let us know by emailing Marianne Halavage on marianne.halavage@brighton.ac.uk