Gemma Kelly

Gemma Kelly

Psychology

Mature

Education Journey

I went through a few different areas. When I left school, I went into architecture. I had such an interest in buildings probably stemmed from being a child with Lego blocks. I realised it wasn’t what I thought it was. I went into veterinary. I did a level 6 and qualified as a veterinary assistant. I went to start working and there is just no job in the area it is quite a hard field, you need to do at least 2 more years. At the time it didn’t call me. I worked in retail for a few years. I decided I needed to get a good job with good money, so I did a level 5 in applied social studies. In that course, there is a psychology module and the teacher for that was amazing and really drew me in. It just so happened after I got the certificate, the course came up here, the first cohort, so I decided to go for it. 

What prompted you to consider a return to education?

Getting something that would get me a stable career and something that would keep my interest and keep me going in that career. I need something to challenge my mind. I get more very quickly. Im not into that rigorous do this do this. When I saw the psychology degree, I thought, this is a very challenging field, and this is where I want to be. 

Career path?

When I first started, I had this big idea of being a forensic psychologist but the more I got into it and saw the modules, I started seeing that I could gear more towards counselling psychology, but to stay in the criminal field, I can go into counselling victims of crime, and through the years build up a repertoire to get into the prison system and start counselling those who committed crimes.  

How do the modules help you choose your career interest?

With the modules, you get such a taster for everything which helps you build an image of doing a few areas together. 

How was the transition back to college?

I found coming back to education, hard as I felt lost, but the college makes it so easy. You are stepping into the unknown, but you can see the community that is fostered by the lecturers and students straight away. So really, I had a support network unknowingly. You are more than just a number here, as the college is so small. 

Student experience

Social – I was quite an insider and didn’t like going around getting to know people. But I find the more I am here the more I am coming out of my shell a bit and I’m meeting new people. Academically – This course pushes you to your limits, to be honest, but there is leniency and plenty of support. You need to keep up with it, email if you need help. 

Anything that surprised you?

I never geared towards child psychology. The more I got into it, I was drawn into it, and it was the module I thought I would have hated. 

What do you say to prospective mature students?

As daunting as it is, if you have an interest in it, go for it, especially with such small numbers here you have a lot more of a relationship with lecturers. Even if it is just a taster. 

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