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Olivia da Silva, BSc (Hons) Criminology

Looking for a career where she could make a difference by helping others, Olivia da Silva chose Criminology at LSBU with a view to hopefully joining the police force

After completing her GCSEs and A-levels at boarding school, Olivia da Silva chose LSBU and Criminology to pursue her desire to find a career that benefits others. “I chose to study this course after not being able to get into medical school, but I still wanted to study something that one day that would lead me into a line of work whereby I help people,” she says. “After speaking to a teacher at school I decided to consider Criminology, and from there I looked into joining the police force. A degree in criminology not only gives me some background into this area of work but also opens up opportunity to enter graduate-entry programmes."

“I chose to study at LSBU after visiting on an open day. I loved the feel of studying somewhere so central in London, and LSBU has a compact campus with close residences, which is perfect for me. My course and school also has a great reputation as well, and we have great researchers teaching us.”

Getting involved in university life

During her time at LSBU Olivia has loved being part of not only the academic side of the University, but also with the Students’ Union and the social side of things.

“I am currently, and have been since the second year, the co-president of the LSBU Criminology Society. Our society has been hugely successful at enriching social sciences students’ degrees, with academic and fun weekly events, inside and outside the lecture hall. At the next LSBSU awards dinner we are hoping to win some prizes for the work we have done this year. Alongside this I am also a member of the LSBU Cheer Squad. The team is still quite new, but we are already beginning some awesome cheer stunts and preparing for competition. I have also recently become a member of the society guild for LSBSU, which means overseeing all the societies and campaigning for them within the University."

“As mentioned above, the Criminology Society has played a huge role in my time at LSBU, which has gone hand in hand with my volunteer work. The Students’ Union provides all societies with a volunteer handbook, which makes it easy to fill out how much time you dedicate to volunteering each week. Once given in at the end of the year, this then entitles you to be eligible for a prize for the most hours of volunteering done.”

Preparation for post-university life

Currently in her third year of studies, Olivia is handing over the Criminology Society reins to the first and second year committee students and looking for work, so that once she graduates she can go straight into training.

“As part of this, the LSBU Job shop has helped me massively to transform my CV, as before it was far too long and not very concise. After doing this I found it much easier to apply for jobs, and I also got help in creating a cover letter template."  

“My hopes now are to apply to a number of graduate policing programmes such as the police and the college of policing so that when I graduate I can start training straight away. There is no doubt that studying at LSBU and being a member of the Criminology Society has enabled me to learn a lot about the field of work I want to go into through both networking and the contacts I’ve made through the University, including some great police LSBU alumni members.”

With her future plans firm in her mind, what does Olivia feel has been the best thing about her time here? “The best thing about studying at LSBU has got to be the great relationship between students and lecturers. If I ever have an issue or need something explaining to me I always feel comfortable going to my lecturers for help and they are always available to us.”