'My passions lie with science and with helping people...'
Studying towards a Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Choosing to study at UC turned out to be a great decision for Lauren. Finding the best subject for you is not always a direct journey, and Lauren started out studying communication disorders. However, the broad range of topics covered in her first year allowed her to discover that Psychology was her thing, and she is now set on her way to a fulfilling career.
‘My passions lie with science and with helping people,’ she says. ‘I had taken two Psychology papers in my first year and had really enjoyed them. I thought I would give Psychology a go – and I love it!
‘My favourite part of Psychology is that it blends science and people together almost seamlessly. Psychology allows me to learn about the body and the brain while also learning about people and their personalities which are two of my favourite areas to study.’
She adds: ‘The subject is so varied and exciting with new breakthroughs being made constantly in neuroscience and other areas of psychology.’
Lauren enthuses about the quality of teaching at UC.
‘The lecturers are amazing! You know you are being taught by the best. They are so passionate about their subject area and that encourages you to do well. The TA's are also very helpful with any questions you may have.’
As she progresses through her degree, this inspiring teaching has helped give Lauren more of a feel for what she would like to do in her career.
‘My favourite courses so far have been 200-level Cognition and Marketing Consumer Behaviour,’ she says. ‘I find that Psychology and Marketing complement each other well. The lecturers in Cognition and Marketing are outstanding and attending their classes has made me motivated to excel.’
With that in mind, Lauren plans to kickstart her career path by taking on postgraduate study to specialise.
‘I feel that the skills I have learned in my degree will assist me in building a successful career in either human resource management or audiology as they are both people-focussed careers, so I will do a qualification in HR, audiology or industrial and organisational psychology.’
‘I was offered the opportunity by my school because they thought that it would benefit me. It was good to build my confidence and give me an insight into university study. UC offered the STAR course completely by distance and that suited me because I live in Rangiora and didn’t want to travel in to attend two lectures a week.’
Taking on a STAR course in year 12 was a challenge, but with help from the Academic Skills Centre Lauren quickly managed the extra workload.
‘I used the Academic Skills Centre for my first STAR essay. Because I was a distance student, I emailed my essay to a staff member and she phoned me for half an hour to discuss my essay. She was very knowledgeable about what sort of course content I should be including and how to format my essay. Without her help I wouldn't have been able to pass as my formatting would have let me down.’
As such, Lauren found the experience a rewarding opportunity.
‘It gave me confidence that I could succeed at university study,’ she says. ‘The STAR course taught me important study skills such as essay writing (uni essay writing is very different to school) and how to read course material properly.
‘If you can commit to the extra workload then a STAR course is a very satisfying and worthwhile way to get a head start for your first year.’