- Year of graduation: 2004
- Job title: Senior Project Manager
- Company: StepChange Debt Charity
On leaving University I was unsure what career path I wanted to take. I only knew that I wanted to do something that made a difference. So, I took a job in the Client Support department at StepChange Debt Charity, predominantly handling inbound calls from clients needing advice about their Debt Management Plans. From there I achieved promotion to Team Leader where I also got involved in projects to deliver new and enhanced products and services. I realised that I enjoyed, and seemed to be good at, bringing people together to solve problems so I proactively studied for a project management qualification before successfully applying for a Project Manager role in the IT department. Progression to a Senior role came through experience, having successfully delivered a range of business and IT projects.
A degree from the School of Psychology has benefited me in the workplace as my degree has helped me to think critically about what I do and how I do it. It highlighted the importance of balancing knowledge gained from reading and research with individual thought and innovation. When delivering projects I make sure to consider, and learn from, what went before, but also to explore new solutions and ways of working that take advantage of changing priorities, attitudes and technologies. It also highlighted the importance of ethics. Of identifying and challenging assumptions and biases, and taking the time to really think about how my actions and decisions can impact others.
If I could, the advice I would give now to myself whilst studying would be to focus on the journey and stop worrying so much that you don't know where you want to end up. Some people are seemingly born knowing what job they will do, whereas others need to experience many things to find their niche. So long as you make decisions that are true to your interests, not someone else's ideas of what's interesting or important, and so long as you take full advantage of the resources and opportunities available to you, you'll figure it out.