Featured People

Kellie Turtle

Name: Kellie Turtle
Job: Training and Outreach Co-ordinator, ChildLine in Partnerships

Subjects taken - BSc Psychology

How would you describe a typical day in your current job?

I travel to schools all over Northern Ireland so I might be out the door at 7:30am to get to a school for 9. Then I will probably do an assembly presentation speaking to the whole school about what ChildLine can offer them. Then I spend the day travelling around the classes doing workshops with each class. This is the best part as I give them activities to do that will make them think about some of the issues ChildLine can help with. I also get to hear what the young people think in small group discussion. Then I'm back on the road and home for a cuppa.

What made you decide to study your degree subject at university?

I always thought I would go into teaching. My subject choices for A-Level were quite varied - Maths, Physics and English Lit - so I didn't know if I'd be a science teacher or an English teacher.

In the end I found Psychology had a bit of all the subjects I was interested in. From English Lit I had developed a love of trying to understand people and what makes them tick so psychology offered the chance to do that. It also has a strong scientific focus on testing theories and hypotheses.

What attracted you to your current job?

After my psychology degree I was a community youth worker for a few years and learnt a lot about the difficulties some young people face. The idea of working for an organisation like ChildLine really appealed to me as I could talk to young people about a service that is there for them and also try and encourage them to unlock some of the things they keep inside and never tell anyone about.

What aspects do you find most satisfying about your current job?

I love meeting so many young people and learning from them about what can make a difference to young people's lives. It's also very rewarding to know that because of taking part in one of my workshops, a young person might get the courage to ring ChildLine or speak to someone they trust about worries or problems they've been keeping a secret. I also get to train adults like teachers and other education professionals on issues like bullying and mentoring so I get to influence the people who are working to keep young people safe in school.

How did your time at Queen's equip you with the personal and professional skills for your chosen career?

My degree subject made a big difference as I use my knowledge of psychology every day when I am working with young people. It's important for me to have an understanding of mental health issues in order to try and reach out to young people who might be experiencing difficulties. I also have always tried to remember one thing that my psychology lecturers and tutors told me which is that we were there to learn how to think critically. That has helped me a lot as I am faced with complex problems in my job which require critical and analytical thinking to try and solve.