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Penny Thrale (BSc Psychology, Mental and Physical Health 2011)


I am currently studying for a masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, having completed a BSc at Reading. I worked as a healthcare assistant for a year in an inpatient eating disorders unit in the year following graduation and currently work part time as an assistant psychologist.

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

I felt the course was highly relevant to my choice of career as a clinical psychologist. The modules all sounded really interesting and I liked the fact that I would have priority on the clinical modules in my final year.

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

Living on and studying at a campus university was great. Everything was nearby and there was a sense of community which I don't think you get from universities spread over a town.

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

Take your first year seriously! Even though it doesn't count towards your final grade, it gives you a good grounding in your subject and makes second and third year a lot easier!

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

I wish to complete the clinical doctorate to become a chartered clinical psychologist. I am currently studying for a masters in Clinical Psychology and work part time as an assistant psychologist within CAMHS.

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

Get as much work experience as you can early on and get the best grades possible. It is highly competitive and a long road to the top and only the best of the best will make it.

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

I volunteered at the Berkshire Child Anxiety Clinic situated within the Department of Psychology at the University in my final year which gave me my first experience of a clinical setting. This was good work experience to put on my CV and helped me to get my first job in a hospital.

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

Gaining as much work experience as they can and thinking about writing a good CV.

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

The University means everything to me. I made some amazing friends, had some great lecturers and gained a good degree from a university with a high reputation. My best memories are of the University taking over Summer Break!

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