Emma Whiteley, Alumni, School of Psychology

Emma Whiteley

I planned to go into Psychology as a career but last semester changed my mind. I had no idea what to do but knew I was a people person and self motivated so I looked into various jobs that would build on these qualities. I first went into recruitment but it wasn’t for me. Living in Leeds I looked for local graduate jobs and happened to find a local company that provided software to healthcare organisations who were looking for a customer relationship manager. From there I’ve remained in healthcare technology as a salesperson and account manager. I’ve worked for 3 different companies in the field and have been at my current company for nearly 3 years. I love that my role involves a lot of time working with customers, understanding their needs, and provided solutions. It’s a complex and technical role as well as being varied being in different places with different customers. Being field based I have a lot of flexibility which is a perk. There’s a huge technology sector in Leeds and so there’s a lot of opportunities. I didn’t plan to go into this sector but I love it.

A degree from the School of Psychology has benefited in the workplace as I think a degree and 3 years of studying gives you a good foundation for any job. The critical thinking and self motivation needed during your degree are skills you will take forward. There are some psychology aspects useful in sales, and interviewees always find it impressive that I studied psychology! 

If I could, the advice I would give to myself whilst I was studying would be don’t necessarily be committed to one career path, there are so many jobs out there that you won’t be aware of - not just the standard graduate companies. Be open-minded and you could find your perfect job!