People say university will be the best years of your life but they go so quickly!
More about Leanne
We spoke to Leanne about her undergraduate and post graduate studies here at NTU both based within the Psychology field. Studying for her PhD now, Leanne spends a lot of her time juggling her studies and teaching along with her NHS work but has taken the time to reminisce about her fond NTU memories.
Why did you choose to study at Nottingham Trent?
I chose to study at NTU as when I came to an open day I fell in love with the university, everyone was so welcoming and there was such a community feel about it. All of the lecturers also seemed so supportive and enthusiastic about their subject so I knew it was the place for me! I studied BSc Psychology and then went on to study MSc Psychological Wellbeing and Mental Health.
Tell us about your memories of NTU, what did you learn?
I learnt so much from my time at NTU, I met some amazing people and got so many opportunities from taking part in research assistant roles during a SPUR project as well as being part of the student mental health champions. During my time at NTU I found my passion and am lucky enough to now be researching this area for my PhD (which is nature and social prescription and benefits on mental health and wellbeing). I’m grateful for the opportunities I had whilst at NTU and all of the staff support throughout my time there.
What did you do that enhanced your employment prospects?
There are the things I took part in mentioned previously as well as lots of the modules being geared towards future employment and building important employability skills, this all helped me secure my PhD placement and has vastly helped in my work life too.
What does your current working day involve?
I have no typical day at the minute. I work in admin for the NHS alongside my part time PhD. I am studying remotely through the university of Chichester so a typical day could include having a supervisor meeting in the morning, planning some lecture material (I help do some remote talks/lectures for students at Chichester) and then heading off to work for the afternoon, it’s a juggling act sometimes but I really enjoy having lots of challenges and lots of things to keep me busy and constantly learning. I also work with the university of Chichester as a supervisor for their mental health ambassadors so spend time helping them arrange events and signposting and responding to emails each day too.
What attracted you to this field of work?
I always wanted to work for the NHS so am glad to have got into this area. In terms of my PhD during my time at NTU especially during my masters I realised how much I had fallen in love with research, I really enjoyed my research area and this had become my passion throughout my time at NTU, so I’m so fortunate and happy that I can now continue this daily and researching the area I am so passionate about.
What have been the highlights and biggest challenges of your career so far?
My masters took part during Covid so my entire course took place online. I was shielding so felt very isolated and it had a huge impact on my wellbeing. Being a part of NTU was amazing, I was a part of the mental health champions where we organised lots of online social events and sessions to raise awareness and help improve mental health. The staff always checked up on us and checked we were doing okay and things were making sense, this made a huge impact and even though we were all doing the course apart I felt a part of a strong community.
A highlight for me must be being able to work and study in areas I’m so passionate about as well as meeting so many amazing people along the way who have helped me get to where I am right now.
What are your plans for the future?
I hope to finish my PhD and work in academia. Being at NTU helped me realise my passion and what I wanted to do, when I first started at NTU I knew I really enjoyed studying psychology but didn’t really know where I wanted it to take me. I would like to continue as a researcher and lecture in psychology especially around my areas of nature engagement and mental health/wellbeing and social prescription.
If you had a time machine, what would you go back and tell yourself at Uni?
To grab every opportunity and embrace every second. People say university will be the best years of your life but they go so quickly! I loved my time at NTU and really enjoyed getting involved in the activities I did. I would also tell myself to always try something new, even if you don’t know if you can do it, you will never know if you don’t try!
Connect with Leanne on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leanne-haywood-16807aa9/
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