Name: Daniel Taylor, BSc, MSc (BSc (Hons) in prog)
What extracurricular activities did you do outside of your degree(s)?
During my first undergraduate degree I helped form the University of Bradford’s first psychology society which was a great experience, allowing me to develop an idea of how societies run. After the societies first year I was elected president, allowing me to delegate roles and take a step back as I began my dissertation. I spent my final year studying at California State University as part of an exchange program. This time abroad changed my life and made me a much more confident and outgoing person. Whilst in California I lived the American dream and joined Alpha Psi fraternity, whom I try to visit whenever I can. When I started my MSc by research in Neuroscience at the University of Leeds, I was working full time to pay my tuition so there wasn’t very much time for extracurricular activities. However, I somehow managed to do some music journalism, modeling and also hold the position of Postgraduate Representative for FoBSoc. Now I am back doing another BSc which is heavily hospital and placement based I am finding free time a rarity once again, so I will be holding off getting involved in extracurricular activities until I’ve found my feet.
What are you doing now following graduation?
When I graduated from my first undergraduate degree in Psychology I applied for jobs to support a research project I was conducting in the school over summer. I continued this research which was heavily biology focussed until I started my MSc in Neuroscience. The research I was doing made me fall in love with the biology of the brain and it started me on this long path into science and healthcare. When I graduated from my master’s degree I was still very much in love with the brain and nervous system, but I was missing the application side of things. I missed seeing the knowledge applied in order to help people in their daily lives. So, after some soul searching, I applied for the doctorate in clinical psychology but was unfortunately rejected. A couple of months later I got a phone call from the school of healthcare asking if I wanted a place on the BSc Mental Health Nursing course, which was a god send – it ticked all my boxes! That’s what I am doing now; I spend most of my time on placements in different hospitals around Leeds learning about mental health problems in a variety of contexts, incorporating my prior knowledge of psychology and neuroscience. Who knows, I might apply for the doctorate again one day, but for now I am a very happy chappy.
What is your lifestyle like being an undergraduate again?
I can’t lie; I found the transition back from master’s level education to bachelor’s level education very difficult. I find myself over analyzing questions and essays, and I am always thinking my lecturers are not teaching things properly, or that they miss key elements out of a discussion. I then remember that they are teaching at level one and that often means not overcomplicating certain topics. The degree is more vocational than I have previously experiences, so I spend nearly all my time out on placement – that means there is no “fresher” lifestyle for me!
I was continuously being told you can’t do that or you don’t have the right experience…so my advice to you is, when someone says you can’t do it, you need to pick that apart and find out why and if there is no real reason why, then go and do it. If you don’t have enough experience in doing something, go and do it and don’t just sit around thinking about it. I always say, experience is about who you know and if you don’t know anyone, then go and find them.
What are your plans for the future?
For now, I am very passionate about this course, bringing the science of psychology and neuroscience together whilst interacting with people on a daily basis, so that is my first priority. I am getting to an age now where I’m thinking about buying a house and settling down, but I also want to do a PhD at some point, so I guess I will decide on the most appropriate course of action for my life when I finish my third degree.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?
I once got so intoxicated I woke up in San Francisco Airport.