What experience did you have when you got on training?

Discuss applications to the clearing house (and to courses that are not in the clearing house system), screening assessments, interviews, reserve lists, places, etc. here
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anarella
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:38 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by anarella » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:27 am

Hi,

Very chuffed to be able to contribute to this thread :D I hope that some people (especially more mature individuals :wink: ) find it useful. I will be 33 when start the training (will feel like the oldest trainee ever :wink: ) but my 1st degree was in a non-psych subject and I also waited to be personally and professionally ready before I applied (I know it sounds like a cliche but I really don't get this rush of some people who want to train asap). My education and relevant experience were as follows:

BA in English
BSc Psychology (high 2.1)
MSc Clinical Applications of Psychology (no grade yet as completing this year)

2 years of part-time (2h a week) charity
1 year of part-time (8h a week) honorary AP (non-NHS)
2 years of full-time IAPT (both NHS and non-NHS)
1 year of full-time neuropsychology service (NHS)

What I would echo from other successful candidates would be make sure you have excellent references. Also show that you are an interesting person and be excited about your whole journey and not only the ultimate "holy grail". I genuinely can say I absolutely loved all my jobs and courses - possibly because I didn't apply every year but focused on developing skills and enjoying different roles. I believed it was going to happen one day but did not "try" to achieve it until I felt I actually had a realistic chance.

Best of luck to everyone out there! My motto was "If you can dream it you can do it" :lol: I recommend you find your own :lol:

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PsyJason
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by PsyJason » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:08 pm

Offered a place, starting in Sept 2016, I will be 32 years old when I start, I have three children and a wonderful supportive partner! I am a career changer and I feel that my background in I.T. and management has given me a number of transferable skills which I find useful to this day.

Education:
BSc Psychology 1:1 (Open Uni.)

Experience, in rough order:
6 years as a Community Manager & Network Engineer for an Italian Online Media company
The company closed and I decided to think long and hard about where I wanted to be in the long run, I chose Clinical Psychology and begun a degree in Psychology with the Open Uni.

3 years volunteering with the Samaritans
6 years paid as a support worker within an Adult LD service
6 months volunteering on an Acute Psychiatric Ward; Activity Facilitator
1 year volunteering as an Assistant Psychologist for the Trust Lead Psychologist; variety of roles, incredibly valuable experience
1 year as a paid Assistant Psychologist with the Adult Learning Disabilities Team; leading on a project to develop Friendship across the County.
1 year volunteering as an Assistant Psychologist in CAMHS; completing ADOS assessments
1 year as a paid Assistant Psychologist within CAMHS; delivering CYP-IAPT ROMS in the CAMHS service

Many of those posts overlap, I graduated at the end of 2013 and secured a place this year. Interestingly, a great deal of my assistant psychologist work involved service development, audit and leadership - perhaps reflective of the direction some feel clinical psychology is heading towards. IF anyone has any questions or queries, just send me a message, happy to chat.

spareclaire
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by spareclaire » Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:54 pm

Hi all - also very happy to be able to contribute as I will be starting September 2016.

I'm an older applicant who did my degree with the O.U. (actually with PsyJason above lol!) - BSc Psychology 1st class hons.

I began my undergraduate degree at the age of 36 and got a place aged 40 (I'll be 41 when the course starts). I experienced parental bereavement aged 17 so I struggled with A-levels and my life took a different course for a while - I can't really believe what has happened since I decided to go back to study!

I have done LOTS of different jobs throughout my life and travelled for years. I also worked for 8 years as a P.A. for a disabled actor, broadcaster and activist.

2 years research experience -
During my degree I started volunteering as a research assistant, and got taken on paid in the final year of my degree (2013). The people I worked with were extremely supportive and I now have seven publications under my belt and am first author on five of them - I am still in contact with the people I met there and we have projects ongoing!

2 years clinical experience -
I missed working with people directly and after I graduated (March 2014) I started looking for clinical experience. I got a job as a healthcare assistant in June 2014 on a low secure female personality disorder ward... and after 6 months I also began volunteering as an assistant psychologist one day per week within the hospital (including the male wards). I was still working on some research projects at this point too so this period was pretty hectic :shock:

After a year as an HCA I got a paid job as an assistant psychologist on the female ward - I also wrote a chapter on psychiatric hospitals for the Palgrave handbook of adult mental health. I did this AP post for just under a year before getting a place on the dclinpsy.

I applied three times and managed reserve list places twice then got a place at Sheffield this year! I have to be honest, not sure I was ready until this year so I feel like it worked out well.

Still not sure it has really happened though :wink:

Claire.

PugsNotDrugs
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by PugsNotDrugs » Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:26 pm

Hi!

I’m 26 and an international student who got accepted on my first try. So excited to be starting this September! I’ve not seen many posts from successful international students so I thought I’ll just add my experiences here.

Education:
BA Psychology (First)

Experience:
Peer-helper with my university’s counselling centre (3 years)
Weekly volunteering during university with adults with severe intellectual disabilities (1 year)
Ad-hoc volunteering with other LD populations (2 years)
Research Assistant, mainly doing cognitive assessments for children (5 months full time)
AP (1 year full time at point of application, currently 1 year 8 months)

No publications.

I’ve been hoping to become a CP since I was an undergrad and am really thankful for this wonderful opportunity to train in the UK!

Dontquit
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by Dontquit » Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:31 pm

I'm very pleased I'm able to post in this section...

I got on at Staffs this year (2016) on my third application. I will be 32 when I start the course.

A-levels in Psychology, English and P.E. (AAA).
Psychology BSc (2.1).
Systemic Family therapy (Merit in Foundation and Intermediate).

I initially thought I wanted to be an Ed Psych so following uni and a gap year to travel the world, I started working in schools - initially as a Teaching Assistant and then as a Learning Mentor. I learnt a lot relevant for clinical psych from this. Following this, I worked as a Senior Mentor for a Behaviour Support Service, commissioned by local schools to assess and implement interventions with children with challenging behaviour. I did this for 3 years and learnt a hell of a lot... My role incorporated assessments, family work, 1 to 1 and group work, training school staff in behaviour management as well as delivering parenting programmes and this was when I decided to undertake training in family therapy alongside my job.

I moved on from this to working at Mind for 3 years on a multi-agency 'improving futures' project with 4 other charities where I worked with families affected by mental health issues, domestic abuse and substance misuse. This role was awesome and again, had many roles including service development and delivering therapeutic play. We also did a lot of recreational stuff with families and alongside the job I continued my family therapy training to become a Systemic Practitioner. To keep up my skills in this, I joined CAMHS one morning/week to work in their family therapy clinic on an honorary basis.

On leaving there, I bit the bullet and took an AP post (along with a significant pay cut) at CAMHS for 6 months, followed by another 6 month AP post at EIT.

So that was my journey in a nutshell... It wasn't easy by any stretch and I told myself this year would be my last application... In fact, last year nearly was until a number of people encouraged me not to quit and to give it one more go... And now here I am :)

sushi86
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:12 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by sushi86 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:05 pm

Hi

I was looking for the forum on relevant psychology experience.

Can anyone please share the link on this information

thank you

DrSquish
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Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 6:28 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by DrSquish » Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:25 am

I have just gotten into training, age 26 (I'll be 27 when training starts). In terms of experience, before/during my undergraduate degree I volunteered briefly with MIND, and for 2 years with Saneline. I got a first in my undergraduate BSc (Psychology), I worked for a year as a research assistant 3.5 days a week (neuropsychology and social cognition research) and AP 1.5 days a week (1 day neurorehabilitation, 0.5 days neurodevelopmental clinic). I then spent 4 years doing a PhD in psychology (my area of research was social cognition in psychopathy), during which I spent a year working 1 day a week as an AP in a specialist autism spectrum disorder clinic. After finishing the PhD, I spent a year training/working as a psychological wellbeing practitioner in an IAPT service.

I hope this helps!

MG25
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2016 10:05 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by MG25 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:48 pm

Hi all,

Also very happy to be posting on this thread. Accepted on my second time applying (2016) and I am 25.
1st time - 1 interview, 0 offers.

Qualifications
- 2:1 MA Psychology (Edinburgh Uni call their undergrad Psychology course "MA") - graduated 2013.
- AAAAA Scottish Highers
(no masters/PhD)

Experience
- Volunteer Youth Worker since 18 years old - latterly became a Child Protection Officer for this charity. All voluntary.
- Community Connecting volunteer during University - Older Adults - 5 months - 1 day a week. Supporting older adults who had perhaps become isolated to reconnect with their communities/things they were interested in.
- Occupational Therapy Clinical Support Worker (Mental Health) - Older Adult - 1 year 2 months - 4 days a week. Worked alongside OTs in an inpatient Psychiatric ward facilitating groups and 1:1s.
- Assistant Psychologist (honorary) - Adult Mental Health - 6 months - 1 day a week. Time mostly spent conducting neuropsychological assessments.
- Assistant Psychologist (honorary) - Adult Mental Health - 6 months - 1 day a week. Audit and exposure work with patients.
- Assistant Psychologist - Older Adult - 3 months - FT. Co-facilitating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) group and conducting a dementia service evaluation.
- Assistant Psychologist - Older Adult/Demand and Capacity working - 4 months - FT. Identifying Capacity and Activity in Psychological Therapies in line with Commitment 13, report preparation, management meetings and neuropsychological assessment.
- Assistant Psychologist - Adult Psychology - 11 months (at time of interview) - FT. Delivering 1:1 interventions for patients with anxiety, phobia and depression, co facilitating an ACT group, and audit.

Thoughts/Reflections
- I personally took a few risks such as leaving a permanent post to accept a 3 month AP contract in the hope that something would come of it. Fortunately it did and I was also fortunate in that I had no ties (kids etc) to prevent me from doing otherwise. I have had a fair whack of different experiences in a relatively short time and would argue that this really helped my application.
- The first time I applied I probably wasn't totally "ready" but I definitely don't regret going through the application process. If anything this helped guide me through the process this year when I felt more ready and focused. I know a lot of people say "don't apply until you are ready" or "practice runs are pointless" but personally I found it a helpful exercise - as long as you are accepting of the fact that rejection is a distinct possibility. Either way, it is a personal decision. :D
- Don't feel as though you need to know everything. I naively started this way in my first AP post, however once I felt comfortable enough to let my guard down and ask those daft questions, I opened myself up to a lot more learning opportunities.
- Be kind to yourself - practice yoga, go for walks, BREATHE! listen to music, read, make time for friends/family, or whatever makes you happy. Don't forget to practice what you preach. I speak to myself here too!
- Try to avoid complete "Clinical Psychology tunnel vision" - enjoy the steps along the way.

Good luck guys :D

dk200300
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:01 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by dk200300 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:56 pm

PsyJason wrote:Offered a place, starting in Sept 2016, I will be 32 years old when I start, I have three children and a wonderful supportive partner! I am a career changer and I feel that my background in I.T. and management has given me a number of transferable skills which I find useful to this day.

Education:
BSc Psychology 1:1 (Open Uni.)

Experience, in rough order:
6 years as a Community Manager & Network Engineer for an Italian Online Media company
The company closed and I decided to think long and hard about where I wanted to be in the long run, I chose Clinical Psychology and begun a degree in Psychology with the Open Uni.

3 years volunteering with the Samaritans
6 years paid as a support worker within an Adult LD service
6 months volunteering on an Acute Psychiatric Ward; Activity Facilitator
1 year volunteering as an Assistant Psychologist for the Trust Lead Psychologist; variety of roles, incredibly valuable experience
1 year as a paid Assistant Psychologist with the Adult Learning Disabilities Team; leading on a project to develop Friendship across the County.
1 year volunteering as an Assistant Psychologist in CAMHS; completing ADOS assessments
1 year as a paid Assistant Psychologist within CAMHS; delivering CYP-IAPT ROMS in the CAMHS service

Many of those posts overlap, I graduated at the end of 2013 and secured a place this year. Interestingly, a great deal of my assistant psychologist work involved service development, audit and leadership - perhaps reflective of the direction some feel clinical psychology is heading towards. IF anyone has any questions or queries, just send me a message, happy to chat.
This is really interesting, especially as you had a career change. Did you find that you needed much research experience to get onto the course? Or were they more interested in your experience?

i have a wide range of experience, but not ver specific in one area and no research since my BSc Psychology degree five years ago! I'm not sure how to get back into it without doing another paid degree :S

Starfish57
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:22 am

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by Starfish57 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:43 am

Hi!

I'm 28 and started training at Newcastle in September. I got on the second time I applied (the first time was in 2010).

In terms of experience, I have:
2:1 in Psychology and Philosophy
MSc Psychological Research
PhD in Autism research
During my PhD I volunteered in a school for children with learning difficulties on a weekly basis and I volunteered in an adult residential care home on an animal assisted therapy programme.

After my PhD, I ran a theatre for a year and then speant a year working in higher education management, so the path to clinical wasn't straightforward at all!

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ell
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by ell » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:57 pm

Right. I never got round to this, despite getting a place almost 5 years ago. So here it is...

A word of warning. My journey was untypically a long one. I post it so that most of you can see that you are actually progressing pretty well despite your fears that you are not, and also to normalise those slightly longer journeys and reassure those that think 30 is way too old to be getting onto training.

2003 - Graduated with low 2:1 (dissertation a high 2:2) BSc Psychology Hons
1 year doing part time roles as a research demonstrator (kind of like a stats teacher) at a university, and as a support worker in a day hospital for older people with mental health issues and/or dementia.
2 and a half years as a support worker in the same day hospital and in the attached older adult CMHT
1 year AP job in a different older adult service.
16 months AP in CAMHS (some of that time unpaid)
MSc Clinical Aspects of Cognition - Distinction (full time for a year)
2 years AP job in yet another different older adult service, albeit with a slightly different remit to the typical AP post.

5 rounds of applications for training:
2008-2010 inclusive - 3 rounds of applying, no interviews (was on reserve interview list for one, but didn't get called)
2011 - 3 interviews for clinical training - two outright rejections, one 'high reserve' but didn't get it
2012 - 3 interviews for clinical training - one outright offer, two 'high reserves', got one of the high reserves which I accepted (Oxford FTW)

But in 2012 I also got pregnant (and had baby), so deferred starting training for a year.

So, I was 32 when I started training almost exactly 10 years after graduating, with eight years clinical experience under my belt. I had spent so long trying to get on training that I had had enough time to get a chip on my shoulder about not getting onto training, and then enough time to lose that chip again, which left me in a much better place when I got there.

What made the difference between 2010 and 2011 (i.e. getting no interviews and then getting three)? Firstly, I got feedback from others on my application form, and wrote something a lot more reflective and specific to me. Secondly, I got my MSc Distinction. Thirdly, I got a new academic reference from my MSc project supervisor who was also a CP.

So there you have it. Now that I am nearly-qualified (long story for another post another day), where am I working? You guessed it, in an older adult CMHT. And I love it.

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JFox
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by JFox » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:29 pm

My journey looks like this:

> Graduated my BSc Psychology in 2012 with a 1st.
> Volunteered at MIND and The Stroke Association as a Support Worker full time for a year. Was in a bit of a paid job limbo :(
> Got my first paid job in a Mental Health setting in 2013 as a Therapeutic Support Worker at a Specialist Teir 4 CAMHS unit (that was a journey and a half!!). Also got a Clinical Information Assistant Post while working within this same role, which consisted of analysing critical incidents, scoring measures, designing databases for the service an many other odd jobs.
> Got my first Assistant Psychologist post at the end of 2014 in a CAMHS 0-14yrs community service. This role was split 80-20 as service evaluation and clinical work. I made my first application for the Clinical Doctorate while in this role.
> In late 2016, after not getting onto the Doctorate, I decided to move on to an Assistant Psychologist post within an Early Intervention in Psychosis Service. This was, technically more of a 50-50 split between service eval and clinical work, but became more of a primarily clinical role as I went on. I am still working there now and will be until I start the course in October 2017 :D

I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey, and would not change it for anything. I feel that I have learned so much form all of my roles and feel much more ready to start training this year compared to last year. Good luck everyone, enjoy your journey. Also, congratulations to those who also find themselves on training this year :D
If at first you don't succeed, try two more times so that your failure is statistically significant!

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stephenkingfan
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by stephenkingfan » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:45 am

Okay here goes! I guess on paper (or screen!) my journey looks fairly typical. It definitely was a difficult journey for me though, and I will add some points at the end to explain.


Education
* 2009 - graduated with a 2:1 in psychology and criminology
* 2012 - MSc forensic psychology - merit


Experience
* I graduated in the middle of the recession. I spent all of my savings just living whilst job hunting for 6 months. I eventually found a job at Boots - which is where I worked part-time whilst at school doing my A-Levels! This felt thoroughly demoralising.

* 2011-2012 - HCA in medium secure unit. Looking back I was completely unprepared for this role, and badly supported by colleagues. I found this job really difficult, felt intimidated at work and unsupported. Numerous staff were assaulted whilst I worked there and we frequently had to call the riot police in when patients made weapons. I felt very disillusioned with mental health care by the time I left. I started doing my MSc part time whilst working full time. I eventually left to work in a non-psychology related job for 6 months.

* 2012-2014 - substance misuse practitioner in a women's prison. I LOVED this job so much. I applied as I thought the forensic setting would be good experience with no thoughts about wanting to work in substance misuse (note - I have worked in substance misuse services ever since!). I carried a caseload of around 25 women who generally had complex needs (think sex working, histories of abuse, poly drug/alcohol use, DV, homelessness). I found this such a rewarding job and enjoyed my work there immensely. The reason I left was because I never got to see the women progress further than the work I could do with them in prison. I only saw them again if they came back to prison (which was frequently). Work involved careplanning, assessing, risk assessing, 1:1 work and facilitating psychoeducational groups.

* 2014-2015 - recovery worker in a 3rd sector substance misuse service - community substance misuse work. Here I had more contact with a psychologist. I ran a mindfulness-based relapse prevention group, did 1:1 work with clients. My caseload was bigger but seemed less chaotic than my one in the prison. I also learnt more about harm reduction, needle exchanges, and also the stigma clients of the service had to face.

* 2015-2016 - assistant psychologist in the same service - this was such an amazing opportunity for me. Unfortunately due to numerous people leaving, the big boss wouldn't let me start my AP role for 6 months as there was no one to give my caseload to. In this time the clin psy left the service and by the time I started there was no one to manage me. This resulted in our consultant CP for the entire service supervising me. Probably not lucky for her, but certainly lucky for me as I ended up supporting her on a number of national projects. I also ran some ACT sessions with clients, did some small service evaluations, trained staff in MI skills, did some auditing, and did on going work to increase use of outcome measures for our groups. I also got the chance to develop a stop smoking group for our service users. All in all I loved this job.

2016-present - Digital content developer - the service I worked for lost their contract due to be being outbidded. I knew the new provider did not have APs so decided to apply for a new job. I'd been seconded 1 day a week to a national project and so applied for a full time job doing this. I was very lucky in that one of the company directors knew my work, and interviewed me. Got a job supporting a team to develop online psychosocial interventions. I don't have much client contact any more (although we do focus groups and feedback sessions). I do a lot of literature reviews to check the evidence base, I do staff training around the country in how to use the digital platform, have written some guidance and policies about risk management, working with people online vs. face to face. All of this has been with a clinical psychologist working closely in the very small team with me.

Key things I learned

* I didn't apply for an AP job for 6 years after graduating. I truely believed I wasn't good enough, I would never get an interview etc etc. It took a long time for me to feel confident enough to apply. It was only because the job was going in my own service that I felt I could apply.

* I learned about how important supervision is! Working in the secure unit with very little supervision (and contrasting that of my current supervision) I can see what a difference this makes. I felt so overwhelmed and anxious working there, that I wasn't sure if working in adult MH was for me. Now I feel very differently.

* I had to take risks. I took a £6,000 pay cut to take the AP job. I had already moved house twice that year but had to move a third time as I couldn't afford my flat any more on the low wage. I had to move back in with my step mum aged 27 which wasn't ideal. It was definitely worth it though.

* I strongly considered other career options. I thought about it for a long time and what it was about psychology specifically that made me what to go for this training. I also accepted that there were some other career options (in particular staying in my current job) which would be a good alternative.

Sorry for the essay! I guess my main point is that growing in self-confidence, self-belief and having support from the people around me was super important. I have been in personal therapy for 2 years which has really helped me, more than I can really explain in words. I have also (through the use of therapy) spent time building up my friendships, developing a good healthy relationship, and building links back with my family. All of this has meant I went into my interview this year feeling confident, knowing I had people there to support me no matter what happened, and believing that I was capable and worthy of being in that interview....and I got offered a place! Part of me still keeps thinking they are going to ring up and say "actually...we didn't mean to offer you a place...".

It's been an incredibly hard and long journey to get to this point, but here I am. I wouldn't change any of it for the world, as it has made me who I am today. Good luck to everyone else on this path :cat: :cat: :cat: :cat:

remotecontroller
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Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by remotecontroller » Wed May 03, 2017 11:28 am

Feels surreal to post in this thread, it's been a long slog. This was my fourth attempt.

Education:
BA Combined Hons Criminology and Psychology - mid 2:1
PgDip Psychology Conversion Course - Merit
PgDip Low Intensity CBT Course - Pass
MSc Research Methods in Psychology - Merit

Experience:
Teaching Assistant (Learning Disabilities) - 1 year full time then part-time during conversion course
Inpatient Support Worker (Learning Disabilities) - 9 months full time
Assistant Psychologist (Learning Disabilities) - 2 years 9 months full time
Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - 2 years full time then part time locum work
Research Assistant (Personality Disorders) - 1 year full time

There are three honorary part time RA posts scattered in between the jobs above.

In all the previous attempts I've never got to the interview stage. This year I've had three interviews and two firm offers.

I feel that the MSc and RA post really helped improved my chances to be selected for interview, along with a recent academic reference from my MSc supervisor who is also a Clinical Psychologist. And of course all the clinical/research experience helped in the interviews! I hope it will serve me well whilst training too. I will be 30 when I start.

sparkling
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:24 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by sparkling » Mon May 08, 2017 1:03 pm

So…I (to just add to everyone else who posts here!) can’t really believe it. For anyone wanting to sift out info at this stage – I’m 36, a career-changer (from law), with two toddlers (1 and 2), 3 years out of work on maternity during my final 3 applications, with a final success on my 4th application.

2003 – BA (Hons) Law and Economics
2003 - 2006 Various law qualifications
2006 -2010 Lawyer
2010 – 2017
- Psychology conversion (Distinction)
- MSc Mental Health Studies (Merit/69)
- Support Worker placement during MSc (1 year, 1 day)
- Research Assistant (3 months voluntary, 15 months paid, FT)
- Member of NHS Ethics Committee (2 years)
- Various voluntary positions running groups
- Chair of a mental health charity (2 years)
- Trustee on board of mental health org (1 year)
- 3 years maternity (2 kids plus illness of kids)

2014 (after 1 year’s experience post-MSc)
UCL
RH

Surrey (Reserve)
IoP

2015
UCL
RH

Surrey (Reserve)
IoP

2016
UCL
RH (Reserve)
Surrey
IoP

2017
UCL
RH

Surrey - SUCCESS
UEL

Happy to answer any questions! xx

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