Alumni Profile: Maeve Hinds
I graduated from the BSc Psychology at Queen’s in 2017. I knew from a young age that I wanted to work in Health and Social Care and so chose Psychology with the belief that it would be a great basis in understanding the complexities of human behaviour.
I was continually amazed by the vast diversity of how, when and where psychology could be applied; and the multiple doors a degree in psychology could open. The broadness of the subject gives students the chance to explore career options in a wide range of sectors, develop their own areas of interest and gain a brilliant transferable skillset.
With Psychology being such an all-encompassing subject, I believe it to be very important for the student to be proactive about discovering where they would like to go after they graduate; from the beginning of their time as an undergraduate. Queen’s Psychology degree offers a fantastic range of volunteer opportunities, inside and outside of the university as well as informative work placements. I participated in the final year placement module, which was a three month work placement in the Queen’s Disability Services. In this team, I was introduced to the importance of administration, record-keeping and confidentiality when working with personal information. I was given the opportunity to co-facilitate the Queen’s Asperger Group as well as training with the Recovery College in ‘Living with Autism in Adulthood’.
Throughout my degree I volunteered for different charities for Adults and Children with disabilities, including Foyle Parents & Friends and Autism Network NI, and worked in America supporting vulnerable adults and children at a Summer Respite Camp. Whilst studying, I was given the opportunity to volunteer as a research assistant for Dr Laura Taylor and her research into cross-community attitudes in Northern Ireland. My role was to inform potential participants of the study and to assist in developing data collection measures. I also found myself on the other side of the research table, as a participant in different PhD student research studies.
I achieved the Degree Plus award as a result of my voluntary contributions and was also able to secure a part-time job in youth work during my final year of undergraduate study. As a youth support worker, I provided facilities to children in the local community and encouraged engagement with activities and challenging behaviour using a structured approach where appropriate
After graduating with a 2i, I travelled Europe for the summer before returning to study an online MSc in Health Psychology with the University of Ulster and begin my full-time role as a Mental Health Support Worker with Inspire Wellbeing. My master’s dissertation focusing on Family Health Culture and Young Adult Health Behaviour’s and Wellbeing has since been published.
I now work full-time in London as a Mental Health Navigator. I provide short-term practical support and access to specialist services to people aged 16-65 who are currently under Primary Care for mental health. I was able to obtain this role through the adaptable skills I gained through my BSc Psychology degree and the self-confidence instilled through volunteering. Working as a Mental Health Navigator, every day is different and offers a new challenge. I am hoping to go back to university to study DClinPsych in the near future to develop my skills in working with and for people as a qualified practitioner.
Psychology at Queen’s is a great degree for those who do not know what they want to do as a career, as well as those who are sure of the exact direction they want to go in career-wise.