Natalia Waszynska – BA (Hons) in English and Psychology
Name: Natalia Waszynska
School: St. Aidan’s Comprehensive, Cootehill, Cavan
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to choose your course:
I have just graduated from the Master’s of Science in Psychological Science programme at Queen’s University in Belfast. Before this, I completed the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities Joint Major in English and Psychology here at ATU. I have always been interested in how the human mind works, in individuals’ thoughts, memories, and emotions, and why individuals behave the way that they do. Additionally, I had an interest in various psychological disorders. Therefore, from early on, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in Psychology. When this course initially came out, I thought it would be interesting to study both topics. Secondly, the course point requirements were more reasonable compared to other Universities so that eased the pressure too. I liked how the course covered a range of topics so you got an insight into different areas of English and Psychology.
What specifically about the course did you particularly enjoy?
I liked the variety of topics covered in the course, from drama, and children’s literature, to abnormal psychology and cognitive psychology. The course covers several topics. I think this is especially good for maybe students who are unsure what specific area they’d like to go to in the future or perhaps are interested in both English and Psychology topics. Additionally, I found it beneficial that in the final year of the course for the thesis project a student can pick between doing English or a psychology thesis. For someone who may have an interest in both topics, it’s nice that you get to cover both topics for the initial few years and then can decide which one you prefer in the final year. I found this beneficial as I was primarily interested in Psychology. Therefore, it was nice to focus on an area I found particularly interesting on a deeper level. Additionally, learn about the different research methods involved.
Any favourite modules during your time studying?
As I have mentioned previously, I chose this course mainly for psychology. Therefore, my favourite modules during my time were the psychology modules. Some of these included; Developmental Psychology, learning through play, Psychological Therapy, and Abnormal Psychology.
What key skills did you learn while studying at ATU Sligo that has influenced your career?
Throughout my time at ATU, I have learned various skills such as; time management, organizational skills, teamwork, presenting and public speaking, writing skills, and research skills amongst many others. These are important skills that you can utilize in any workplace.
Can you share some detail of your career path or further studies to date
After completing the English and Psychology course at ATU in 2020 I completed the Master of Science in Psychological Science at Queen’s University Belfast. I just graduated last December 2021. This was a conversion course that took one year to complete.
What advice would you share with our current students considering a career in your field?
I can only speak about the psychology aspect as that is what I am hoping to do in the future. For students who are considering a career in Psychology, I would say to try and get some work experience or volunteer in different organizations as soon as possible. I think it would be beneficial to start even in the first year as you will learn some valuable skills that you can bring into the future.
What did you like best about studying at ATU Sligo?
I enjoyed my time studying at ATU Sligo. I was fortunate that I met some great friends during my time here. My lecturers have also been great and extremely helpful. Additionally, I think ATU Sligo has some excellent facilities such as the library, the canteen, the sports facilities, etc. I believe that there is something for everyone.
What advice would you give a first-year student starting in ATU Sligo?
The advice I would give a first-year student starting in ATU Sligo is to enjoy your time there as much as possible as looking back the time goes by so quickly. Make the most of asking your lecturer questions on anything you’re unsure of as it will make everything that bit less stressful. Also, I would say try and have a plan of what you want to do after the course. I think it then eases the pressure when you’re in your final year.
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