Hussein Mehmet, BSc Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience graduate, now a Graduate Research Assistant at University of Oxford.
I currently work as a research assistant for the University of Oxford but am based at University College London’s Deafness, Cognition, and Language Research Centre (DCAL). While having the skills gained from studying for my BSc Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience was really important in securing the job, it was also thanks to a member of staff at the University of Essex that the opportunity came about.
The role was offered to me after I completed a summer internship at the DCAL, helping out with collecting physiological brain data using a technique called functional transcranial doppler sonography. I found out about this internship from a researcher at Essex who is also an honorary research associate at University College London. She thought of me for the opportunity after we had built a good relationship while I undertook two Research Experience Schemes during my time as an undergraduate student. Current students can take that as a valuable lesson: every person you meet at Essex may prove to be a crucial contact for future career development.
It was because of this that every day I’m now positively contributing to a fascinating area of science, which feels so fulfilling. The current research project I’m engaged in is exploring hemispheric lateralisation in relation to different aspects of language processing. My role is really varied, ranging from conducting experiments utilising an interesting neuroimaging technique right through to admin tasks.
Through studying an undergraduate degree at Essex and meeting the University’s inspiring academics I am on track to achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a Clinical Neuropsychologist. For anyone looking to follow a similar path, my advice is to build as much relevant experience as you can while studying. Definitely apply for any Research Experience Scheme placements available! As I found out, you never know where it could lead.