We Are Essex

Sandra's story

Photo of Sandra De La Prida Cebrian

"You feel like anything is possible"

It isn’t confirmed yet, but I’ll hopefully be doing my placement year in a Psychology research group in one of the best universities back in my home town of Madrid, and the Employability and Careers Centre helped me find that.

Psychology is something I’ve been interested in for as long as I can remember, especially neuroscience, which is why I came here to the UK to study. It’s so impressive to me, it’s so complex and it has so many different paths to go down so I was like, yeah, let’s just do that.

I have no idea what I want to do with it in the future, I have so many ideas in mind. I could get into human resources, or social media and marketing, but I’m starting to be really interested in genetics as well, so I could continue down the research path, or get into something like ethics, or philosophy; I have a very broad range of options!

When I realised there was a frontrunner position for the Employability Centre, I applied straight away. My supervisors are great and being in an office and working with social media is something I always wanted to try, to see if that’s something I would like to do in the future.

I basically do copywriting for Facebook and Twitter, and right now I’m doing a bit of research on things we can do in a creative way, like campaigns that are more interactive with the students. I’m hopeful that my placement year will give me the opportunity to have the experience of research and data analysis, so by the time I graduate I’ll have all this experience in so many different fields.

The chance and possibility of doing something big where I can put my efforts in, something I really appreciate, means so much to me for my future. Here I feel like I have the chance of networking and meeting people from different places and building up something from scratch.

I’m also the secretary of the Catholic society. This in itself involves a lot of skill building, because I help to organise a lot and take minutes in the meetings, which is actually harder than I thought it would be, like keeping up with it, it’s just another experience. Being busy keeps me motivated because I realised when I stop doing things, I lose all my motivation, so staying active keeps me motivated.

Essex really means diversity and opportunity, because there are a lot of different schemes, different departments, different things you can be involved in, and you feel like anything is possible. I was really shy in my first year and then I made friends with my housemates and they’re so outgoing and cheerful all the time, so I kind of just had to be like them. My close friends in first year really helped me a lot and from then I made more Spanish friends and I keep meeting new people, and I feel like I’ve gotten more extroverted since then.

It’s such a big change from back home; here I live with two half African/half French girls and one from Sri Lanka and yeah it’s really nice. I have 2 or 3 British friends, but all my other friends are from different parts of the world and I really enjoy listening them talk about their culture.

My friends here are such a huge inspiration to me, because some of them have three jobs, or two exec positions in different societies, they’re really busy people. But it’s such a great feeling, when we finally have some time free, of going to each other’s rooms and talking about your day, your drama or any silly things, it’s just really relaxing.


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