Selina Shaw, alumna, BSc (Hons) Psychology
Thanks to a degree in Psychology, Selina developed a deeper understanding of human behaviour which has proved useful in many aspects of her life
From an early age, Selina Shaw always knew that she wanted to work in the field of psychology, but it took her a little while to decide precisely which domain she wanted to operate in. “At first, I thought I wanted to work in a clinical setting,” she says, “but as I matured I found myself with a healthy interest in crime and what made people turn to crime. I found myself empathizing with groups that are cast out by society, and concluded that behaviour is never black and white – there’s always a grey. With that in mind, I came to the conclusion that my ideal career would be working as a forensic psychologist, specialising in mental health.”
When it came to choosing a degree, however, Selina had very specific reasons for wanting to study BSc (Hons) Psychology. “One of the main reasons I wanted to study it was to gain a better understanding of people and why they behave in certain ways – underlying psychological problems, personality traits and so on,” she says. “There are also lots of transferable skills that the course develops – communication, social interaction, psychological research methods and critical thinking skills.”
Having settled on her subject, Selina began looking for the right place for her to study. “I came to an open day at LSBU, and immediately picked up positive vibes,” she recalls. “One of the most important criteria was that the course was accredited by the British Psychological Society – essential if you want to pursue a career as a psychologist. The modules on the degree were also appealing as there is variety and contrast, so you get a taste of almost every element of psychology.”
At LSBU I made lifelong friends from different backgrounds, and felt supported by my lecturers throughout my course – especially by my professional tutor, who was always there when I needed advice and support.
After graduating, Selina secured a role with HM Prison Service, and feels that the skills and experience she gained at LSBU were crucial in doing so. “My degree definitely helped,” she says. “I learned the key competencies that are part of my job, and thanks to my time at LSBU I was able to demonstrate them to potential employers.”
When it comes to the future, Selina feels her degree is great preparation for a wide range of possible roles. “I really believe the skills you develop on a psychology degree can be used in a wide variety of roles, not all of which are explicitly related to psychology,” she says. “It helps you to understand the core principles of behaviour and so it can be applied to many working environments – I’ve found it helpful in a variety of roles, including retail, PR, and acting as a sole carer for a family member.”
Selina is proud of her time at LSBU, and feels that it was a crucial part of her life. “I think since deciding to study at LSBU, my life has changed enormously,” she says. “As well as my degree, studying in London meant I met people with such cultural diversity. I learned a lot from them, about understanding other views and expressing your own in a non-judgemental manner. I hope to keep using the skills I gained in my career and my daily life, and I’m grateful for my experience at LSBU – it’s a chapter of my life that I won’t forget.”
Read more about studying BSc (Hons) Psychology.