Our most recent SASHLab intern Alanna O'Connor from the BA Psychology & Sociology programme has written a blog post on her co-op experience. This might be especially interesting reading for our current BA students interested in a research assistant placement with SASHLab & the Department of Psychology, or further afield. Thank you Alanna for all of your work with SASHLab & best of luck with your Erasmus studies!
Six months - where did they go? That’s the length of time I have been on my Co-op placement here in the Psychology department in UL. It feels like it was only yesterday when I started and got familiar with everyone here. I can honestly say I am so sad to leave the Department and to finish up my placement as I have had such an enjoyable time here and have learnt so much! However, I guess it’s time to move on in my degree programme to the next chapter that awaits me. While here in UL I was assigned two supervisors and cannot thank them enough for helping me get the most out of my placement. Dr Ann-Marie Creaven and Dr Stephen Gallagher have been amazingly helpful and encouraging while I was here on placement. I have learnt so much from them while on my placement and have met some fantastic people. I am so glad I got the opportunity to work here and learn from such credible researchers. I could go on for days about all the tasks I did and all the experience I gained here in UL but you’d probably get bored of reading this if I did. I have gained so much experience here from learning how to do transcription, to attending undergraduate and postgraduate conferences, to writing blog posts and tweets weekly. I have helped with 4th year projects and have met with participants as a researcher in experimental studies (this was a big deal for me). I have attended talks on suicide prevention, I have imputed data into SPSS for researchers and coded data also for them. I have completed a Behaviour Change Technique course online and have coded an episode of Operation Transformation using these BCTs with my supervisor Ann-Marie- which I loved doing! Lastly upon finishing up my Co-op placement I did a presentation for my supervisors outlining what I had done throughout my placement with them. I must admit I was extremely nervous before hand but enjoyed presenting it and gained important public speaking skills from doing this. I also received huge positive feedback from my supervisors which boosted my confidence immensely. I learnt so much while on my placement and had an amazing experience in the department. I have made some great friends while on Co-Op especially with the other Co-Op students I worked alongside in the Psychology Department. It has been a very enjoyable experience and I am very thankful to my supervisors and to all who I met while on my placement. I hope the next Co-op student will enjoy the experience as much as I did. Thanks, everyone! Alanna