Category Archives: PSC alumni

Interview with Charissa Taylor, PSC alumna

Charissa TaylorCharissa Taylor, a Professional Skills Curriculum alumna, met with the PSC team to tell us how the course made a major impact on her future career.

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Charissa Taylor, I am a fourth year student doing Economics and German. I did an internship with JP Morgan over the summer, and they just offered me a job for next year.

How did you get involved in Professional Skills Curriculum course?

I saw a poster for the Practical Skills ‘Leadership in Practice’ sessions and I decided to attend. I was aware of the PSC workshops, but learning through practise has always been more efficient for me. I found the sessions very helpful, and later on I completed eight workshops to get recognition for doing the course.

Has the PSC had an impact on your life, and how?

What I learnt at the Practical Skills sessions helped me a lot throughout my internship. After the session I became more aware of how other people see me, how to create a good impression and how to conduct myself. I also improved my leadership and team-work skills. During the Practical Skills session you get to work with such a vast amount of different people that you would never have to as part of your university life. When I went to JP Morgan, I could straight away work with others without much difficulty. Practical Skills sessions also taught me how to come across as keen, and even when I had nothing to do during my internship, I never looked bored, which helped as well.

What part of the course did you find to be particularly helpful?

Definitely the ‘Leadership in Practice’ Practical Skills sessions. The way it is structured ensures that everything you learn from the presentation at the start, you later put into practice. The peer assessment in the end is very helpful as well, because people are usually very honest and give good advice on what was good and what needs improvement.

Would you recommend PSC to other students?

Yes, especially to first and second years students, because they have more free time. I did mine in my third year, and it was quite challenging to do it alongside the deadlines in Honours. PSC also gives good preparation for internships applications, so by the time they get to that point, they already have some skills to their benefit.

NB: The Leadership in Practice sessions are delivered in collaboration with Tayforth Universities Officers Training Corps and are running throughout semester 1.

Interview with a PSC alumna

Playfair Profile

There are already two generations of Professional Skills Curriculum graduates.           Lonie Sebagh, a fourth year Management student, was enrolled in the PSC course in the 2012-2013 academic year. She met with the PSC team to tell us the impact the Professional Skills Curriculum has had on her employability.

Why did you decide to take part in the Professional Skills Curriculum?

I met Catriona Wilson at the Freshers Fayre, and she told me about the content and benefits of the PSC course, which I thought sounded very interesting. I also started working towards the St Andrews Award at the time, which encourages participants to get involved in different activities during their time at University. It therefore seemed like a good idea to combine both programmes. This allowed me to apply the theoretical knowledge I gained in the PSC course to the activities I got involved in as part of the St Andrews Award.

Which lectures and online workshops did you take part in?

I attended the lectures on Understanding Thinking Styles, Assertiveness and Confidence and Public Speaking and completed the online workshops on Communication Skills, Managing a Team, Presentation Skills, Chairing Meetings and Taking Minutes and Professional Conduct.

How did the skills you gained through the PSC help you?

I found the Understanding Thinking Styles lecture very interesting. It helped me understand how my personality and work preferences could be utilised in conjunction with other people’s styles to increase efficiency. The Presentation Skills, Chairing Meetings and Professional Conduct workshops were also very useful before getting involved on University committees or starting professional internships.

Would you recommend taking part in the PSC? If so, why?

Of course! The PSC course has helped me become more confident and prepared about the experiences ahead, and it has allowed me to discover topics I never would have come across otherwise, such as the thinking styles for instance. Additionally, as a Management student, I study employee behaviour in organisations and the PSC has given me a new perspective on this topic and enhanced my understanding of it.