Careers in Psychology

Reianna Agnihotri

"Get as much clinical experience as you can and just persevere."

Reianna Agnihotri, BSc Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience graduate, now a Senior Assistant Psychologist at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Alongside studying for my undergraduate degree at Essex, I gathered as much work experience as possible. I worked part-time in a private mental health hospital as a support worker and in an NHS psychiatric unit as a healthcare assistant. Since then, I have worked as a voluntary assistant psychologist in forensic mental health and an assistant psychologist in acute inpatient psychiatric care.

This all led me to my current job, working for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as a senior assistant psychologist. This comprises a range of duties, including one-to-one and group work with service users who present with mental health problems of varying degrees. Within the organisation, I work under a clinical psychologist and provide supervision to early-career assistant psychologists.

For me, the most enjoyable aspect is helping people. On a daily basis I am using psychology and therapeutic practices to support vulnerable people and their families. My plans are to continue developing my psychological therapeutic skills, with the ultimate aim of pursuing a clinical psychology doctorate in order to qualify as a clinical psychologist.

My degree at Essex equipped me with the theoretical knowledge needed to interpret human behaviour and personality, with psychology employability modules having helped me figure out my strengths and showcase them in job applications.

While the course itself was vital, I wouldn’t be where I am now without all the experience I gathered alongside my studies. My advice to anyone considering a career in psychology would be to get as much clinical experience as you can and just persevere. It can be a tough, highly completive field, but just keep going and you’ll get there.