Student Profile: Sam Webb – Psychology with Neuropsychology

Sam WebbSam Webb

How does it feel to be graduating?

Oddly anti-climatic because it is a means to an ends, I still have a masters and a PhD to get before I am qualified to become a lecturer/researcher, so it is nice to graduate..but I have a long way to go yet.

Tell us a little bit about your background…

I have been more academic since 2013, prior to that I didn’t really care for studying, and since sixth form and being able to study what I wanted and third year of my course being able to choose my modules, I see the value in pursuing what I am interested in and spending solid hours working/reading/in the lab. Outside of academics I like to climb mountains and hike, I also spend hours on video games between studying and being outdoors.

Why did you come to Bangor?

I really like mountains and a friend went here, it seemed like a nice choice. After coming to an open day, I realised the community and sense of closeness at the School of Psychology was unique, and couldn’t be missed. It was mostly how small Bangor is, yet with the style of a city - I prefer smaller places with lots to do outdoors.

Did you come through Clearing?

No - this was my first choice.

Did you work while studying? What was that like?

I had employment for all bar 6 months of my degree, and it was good. I can’t imagine life without a job, depending on the work, university and employment is really easy to balance- just be sensible. In the future when you are applying for jobs, not having gaps on your CV is crucial. I have only had that 6 month gap, otherwise I have always had a part time job. Plus money is essential and easily spent. I earned more than 600 a month part-time and still spent it all by the next pay day, so without income I don’t know where I would be financially.

Did you take part in any interesting projects/work experience/time abroad while at Bangor?

I had 4 research internships at the end of year two and throughout year three, a shadowing experience of research in year one, and of course, my dissertation (5 in total). I worked in 4 different School of Psychology based labs, one of which was my dissertation lab (which is now an active research lab position rather than dissertation intern). Two were awarded via university and school based internships schemes, and the other 2 obtained myself through academic contacts. For one of my research experiences I was personally asked by Dr Lena Wimmer, a visiting researcher from Germany to aid in data collection with her in primary schools. At first I was honoured that I was known enough to be asked, and more than happy to get some hands on experience.

Were you a member of any societies?

I was an active member of the Psychological Society, where I was study group coordinator (a self-made position which involved running large study groups for psych students of all years to study and help each other in). I was also active in the Street Law society, a pro bono organisation which taught university students aspects of the law, and then those students would go out into the community and give back by providing legal knowledge to the public, I ran one of these groups.

What was the highlight?

Gaining the Tim Miles prize in year two, for Best Overall Year Two Psychology Student. Another is that my research experience got me into Oxford University, alongside my grades, but without the experience I would not have got a place.

Did you overcome any obstacles while studying?

Yes, some very personal ones. The fact I maintained a First during this is astonishing to me, I have changed so much inside and out, and spent a lot of money on medical appointments and surgery. I was diagnosed with OCD and prescribed medications for this, it did impact my grades, where they fell from a strong A to A+ in everything in year two (with two A**/100%s) to a high B+, which is still a fantastic grade, but such a detour from what I was on. Honestly, I am thrilled that I did not go below a B+, because for what I have been through personally and medically, it is unprecedented.

What are your hopes for the future?

That I do well at Oxford University for my masters in Psychological Research, and that this secures me onto a great PhD in the future.