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Inspirational Anna graduates with Psychology degree

Anna Volz is celebrating today as she graduates with a degree in Psychology, just one month after her father sadly passed away.

Anna, who is originally from Germany, was raised in Malawi. She spent a few years in Australia before travelling to Belfast in 2020 to do her degree at Queen’s University Belfast.  


Her father, who lived in Germany, suffered a heart attack earlier this year and was in a coma for two months before sadly passing away in May. While her dad was ill, Anna also found out that she is expecting a baby later this year. 


Despite all of these personal challenges, she completed her final exams and is today graduating with her degree in Psychology.  


Anna has secured a job working with Solas, an organisation which provides support programmes for children and young people with Autism and Additional Needs. She is also working as a Research Assistant in the School of Psychology this Summer. 


Commenting on her journey, Anna says that it has been a difficult time personally but she is proud to now be graduating. She says: “The last few months of my course were definitely the hardest. My dad was very ill from April after suffering a heart attack and was in a coma. I travelled back and forth to Germany and that was very difficult. As I travelled to Germany in May, I got the call while I was at the airport, that my dad had stopped breathing. The next few days were probably among the most difficult in my life.” 


“When my dad was first in a coma, I got in touch with my advisor of studies helped give me advice and direction around how to apply for exceptional circumstances. All my lecturers were very kind and understanding. Thankfully, the university has been really supportive. I was able to get an extension for my thesis without any problems and this helped me to ensure I reached my full potential.” 


She adds: “I have really enjoyed meeting different people on my course, getting to know them, and sometimes getting lunch or coffee after a lecture has been great, especially after staring off the degree online.  

“When I was at my formal recently I noticed just how many great people I had met over the past three years. Two of the girls on my course work with me at Solas. Catching up with them about assignments during exam season when we weren't seeing each other in lectures anymore and getting ice cream together has been great! 


“It's safe to say that this is not what I was expecting my final year to look like, but I'm grateful I got through it.” 


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