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Evelina Bakanaite

Healthcare Assistant, Camden and Islington NHS

BSc Psychology, 2015

What made you choose Middlesex University?:

I chose Middlesex University for many reasons. The first thing that caught my attention was the amazing, modern-looking campus. It was extremely spacious, with excellent and various study spaces that were easy to access. Support at Middlesex University was always available. This truly pushed me to do my best during my studies. Additionally, being a Middlesex Alumni offers you the chance to make connections for life!

What course did you study and what attracted you to that course?:

I chose to study BSc Psychology. I was very sure of my decision and Middlesex University seemed to be the perfect place to make it happen. I was extremely pleased to meet the lecturers, professors and the course leader who convinced me that they were experts in their field and were ready to truly share their expertise.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy the most?:

I mostly enjoyed working with award-winning facilities, using hands-on approaches, exploring the equipment, and truly feeling like a professional in this field. It was amazing to have staff members always available to help and share their knowledge. Moreover, I was very excited about the modules that the course offered. They covered everything that was based on psychology and opened my interest to the field that I am exploring now.

What is your fondest memory of Middlesex?:

The most vivid memories were accumulated in the Sheppard Library. I loved the fact that this library accommodated all types of students. You were able to choose whether you wanted to work in a group study, silent study, or bookable group study. This was truly an excellent place to do assignments, group projects and anything else. The library also offered an amazing selection of books. I always found all that I needed!

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?:

One piece of advice that I would give to a prospective student is to do research, and do it well. If possible, visit the campus on an open day so that you could get a real feel of the campus, of the staff, and of the facilities. If this is not possible, the Middlesex University website will answer all your questions! Research is extremely important so that you can feel confident you have chosen the right university for you.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you to get where you are professionally today?:

BSc Psychology course truly gave me an overview of all that psychology has to offer today. It provided me with information about different fields, therapies and approaches, so that I could decide what was perfect for me. I realised that almost all fields are somehow related to mental health - which became my passion. So I would say that this Middlesex course helped me decide where I want to go next!

How did you get your foot on the career ladder post university?:

Post-university, I made use of the employability service that Middlesex offers to all its current and former students. I made several appointments with Jack Tims, who helped me tremendously. Furthermore, I often used the MDX Works website. This helped me with my CV, cover letter, and interview preparation. The employability service then provided me with real life, face-to-face interview skills.

What has been your defining career break of highlight to date?:

My defining career break after university was finding out that I was successful at my interview with the Camden and Islington NHS for the Healthcare Assistant post. I was truly overwhelmed with happiness as this is a role I was very passionate about. The Middlesex Employability Service helped me with the interview, which reduced the stress and made me a lot more confident during the real interview.

What are the top three career tips you would give to current students and recent graduates?:

1. The first would be to apply for jobs. Just keep applying. I know the process can be difficult, but try to set goals for yourself. Mine was to apply for at least one job a day.
2. Make connections. Use the Employability Service, MDX Works website, and please register to become a Middlesex Alumni!
3. Volunteer! This will provide you with crucial experience and will help you develop your skills further, which will be perfect for when you start applying.

What skills have been most valuable in your career so far and how have you developed these?:

I think that the most valuable skill by far has been effective communication. I have perfected this skill over the three years at Middlesex. This skill was truly useful during group projects and presentations and when scheduling meetings with the staff. Effective communication is the key. In my career, this skill is extremely important to ensure that I am empathetic, caring and maintaining the service user's independence and dignity.

Are there any tips you can give international students looking to move abroad to study?:

I think moving abroad is a big step - but a truly great one. I would advise you to do thorough research on the university and the halls. The halls are truly amazing and modern. I think, just ensure that this is where you would like to spend your three years of being a student!

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