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David Sugden (BSc Psychology, 1968)

Tell us briefly about yourself and career

Trained as a Probation officer, then went into social work, then social work education. Recently retired after 30 years in University of Northumbria. Also woDavid Sugdenrked in Bulgaria and Moldova on Social work developments. Still offer consultancy services.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

Because it was in the (unknown) deep south of England, far from home!

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

Becoming independent, meeting lots of other students and discovering that psychology really does let you understand what others are doing!

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Learn first to manage yourself, then to manage your friends and colleagues, then work out how to fit in the study around that!

How did you benefit from spending a year abroad / a year in industry?

I benefited enormously from working abroad, in teaching, in research and in service development - but sadly all AFTER my degree! Even more important now to understand the impact of culture and language on every aspect of work.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

Mostly retired and travelling the world to learn more. Still working a bit to keep myself on my toes!

What would be your top tips for students interested in working in this sector?

Social welfare, social care and services is a growth industry, but it is important that development is based on the effects on the people involved, not just financial criteria.David Sugden

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

First degree learning set me off onto a career path, but the careers centre made me change direction... Who knows what might have happened if I had followed up my undergraduate research instead... on road markings!

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

Get the best degree you can in an area of growth... and back that up with practice experience in the same field.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

This university started my academic career; it gave me confidence. My favourite memory is of hours in the psychology lab, studying other students...

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