I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas break. I certainly did. Before the term ended, I was able to meet Dr. Lauren Knott for an interview. Dr. Lauren Knott specialises in the field of Memory. Lauren’s PhD topic was on
investigating the recollective experience of remembering and false memory production.
Anyone who studies Psychology at a graduate level knows how popular (and competitive) Clinical Psychology is. Initially Lauren was interested in Clinical and Forensic Psychology. Her dream whilst studying was finding a role where she could merge the two fields. Her work on false memories in her undergraduate degree led her to complete a doctorate on the topic as well.
Lauren enjoyed her university experience, and made a strong social network that she is still in contact with today. She said looking back that her University was very strict and rigid. The challenging aspect was that she didn’t have any contact with the lecturers.
“I never said one word or sent one email to any member of staff the whole time that I was there. We didn’t interact or speak. “
Luckily, at City, University of London the lecturers are all very friendly and supportive. Lauren agrees that the allowance of communication with lecturers is beneficial to any students’ study; and admits that her University environment was not as friendly as it could have been.
After reflecting upon the highlights of her role at City, University of London, Lauren says that there are two major things that she enjoys most. As a Programme Director, Lauren enjoys striving to improve the experience that City students have. She also works on the feedback that arises from student representatives, in order to develop and improve the programme as much as she can. As with any academic, Lauren also enjoys her involvement in research. At the moment, Lauren and her colleagues are writing a book to be published on Memory and Law. She enjoys getting to explore a wide breadth of research: memory law, collaborative memory of jury members, and how this affects their decisions, and also studies on memories from childhood.
As I am currently contemplating whether to complete a Masters, I was interesting in Lauren’s opinion on gap years. Lauren suggested that gap years can be beneficial. Sometimes further education may not be something that students can do straight away due to: flexibility and time, or income and their financial situation. However, Lauren was determined to complete her education all in one go.
“I would just be aware that things move fast. Sometimes you need that break, but also you have to think about what your career needs.”
Lauren’s advice to students:
The world of academia is changing. In my undergraduate degree, a 2:1 or 1 was all you needed to go on to the job you wanted to do. Now it is so competitive. A Psychology degree is a great degree to have due to the transferable skills you gain, but there are so many students with a Psychology degree. So what I suggest is come to University with expectations that you are going to need to get work experience or charity work; whatever it is you need to do. You have to think employability, and not just focusing on your studies. You’re coming from A-Levels and University is very different. Academia and University degrees involves a lot of independent study. That’s one thing, we are seeing a shift in expectations.
If you could learn any language what would it be? Spanish
Do you prefer BBC or ITV? BBC
Favourite Fruit? Satsuma, because it reminds me of Christmas
Written by Dionne St Rose