Corah Lewis is a BSc Psychology student currently undertaking her year-long work placement in the Psychological Medicine Research Team at the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. Now two months in, hear about her experience so far!
Why did you want to do the year’s work placement?
As soon as I got the email that the university were introducing it, I knew that it was something I had to at least look into. I have always been interested in going down the clinical psychology route but I appreciate just how competitive this path can be. I thought it would be great to have a year’s experience in a research/clinical environment, partly to have under my belt for any future applications but also to see whether it really is what I want to do.
I saw the advert for the Institute of Child Health (ICH) placement, I thought it looked fantastic and I applied. I didn’t think I would get it but thought I didn’t have anything to lose!
How did you go about setting up your placement at ICH?
I found out about the placement via the University. They sent the placement advert around everyone who had expressed an interest in the placement year. Working with children is something I have always wanted to do, so when I saw a name as big and well-known as Great Ormond Street, I jumped at the chance.
Is the placement all you thought it would be, or is anything surprising?
I didn’t really know what to expect from my placement as they didn’t know exactly what projects would be running during my time here. However, I started ready to throw myself into it and I cannot tell you how much I am loving it.
One thing I didn’t expect was having the opportunity to carry out my final year research project during my time here. I am currently in the process of designing my own project to do here, which is very exciting.
Is this experience helping with your future career aspirations?
I think this placement has confirmed for me that working with children is something I want to do long term. Whether that is more on the research side or the clinical side, I am not yet sure.
What advice would you give other students who are considering doing the placement year?
I would say that if you can find a placement opportunity that excites you, definitely go for it. I am currently 2 months in and I am loving it all; the placement, meeting new people, discovering a new city… and a break from exams and coursework doesn’t hurt!
What is the best thing you’ve done so far?
I am not sure I can narrow it down to one! Having the opportunity to observe Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) sessions at the hospital has been very interesting. Helping to run a ‘Patient and Public Involvement’ day getting patients’ input into a new study was a great experience. To get named as a contributing author on the latest paper to be sent for publishing is something I am very proud of!