Today we had the absolute pleasure of chatting with a 2nd year student who works tirelessly both in & out of BCU, working for her local community, challenging herself & having fun in the process. Let’s go & meet Jasanpreet Dhaliwal!
Hi Jasanpreet, it’s great being able to chat with you today! Please tell us what year & course you’re in, along with a little bit about what you get up to?
Hi! I am currently in my second year studying BSc Psychology with Criminology. Alongside working on my assignments, I am also taking part in opportunities that come up within and outside of university. I ensure that I make the most of my journey throughout university; and gaining valuable experiences. Some of these experiences include volunteering at a local hospital and school. I have also been a Mentor, Student Academic Leader and completed a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course at university.
How many of our award levels have you completed & when did you achieve these?
I have completed all awards: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. I achieved my bronze and silver award in 2019 and achieved the gold and platinum award this year. I believe completing this employability award has been helpful as it allowed me to reflect upon my goals and achievements I have already made and to progress onto further opportunities. I believe this will be super useful for me in the future.
We hear you’re about to enter your placement year, this sounds exciting! Where are you going to be working & what role will you be carrying out?
Yes! I am starting an exciting placement year with Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. I will be working alongside a clinical psychologist at the CAMHS clinic in Birmingham. The role I will be taking is of an honorary assistant psychologist. I have been super enthusiastic about starting this placement ever since I started university. As it was a difficult process of securing a place, I was delighted having been accepted onto this placement.
We hear you’re also a Student Academic Leader (SAL) for your faculty. Tell us about what experiences you’ve had within this role?
As a Student Academic Leader, I have been involved in several talks and meetings with other SALs and staff members for my faculty. I believe as a SAL it is our responsibility to ensure that any type of disturbances to education on the course are addressed and action is taken to improve the experience of university for all members. As a student myself, I am aware of the challenges we face at university every day. This puts me in a strong position to help support students and make sure they have a better experience of coming to university.
For instance, there have been some situations in which the cohort was unhappy with the lecture content for the module as it was limited, and information given about the assessments was insufficient. It is the duty of a SAL to ensure that these concerns are reported to the course/module leader. Being a SAL has significantly boosted my critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This has also encouraged me to find fresh perspectives and come up with innovative solutions, so that I can formulate a plan to overcome obstacles and reach goals.
You told us you’ve done multiple volunteering positions & have fundraised too, which is such an incredible thing to do! Tell us a little about these different experience.
I have done many types of volunteering activities outside of university. For instance, I have demonstrated my enthusiasm for working in a clinical environment and for supporting patients through volunteering at a local hospital for 3 years. I have worked with patients suffering from dementia and schizophrenia as well as working on other wards. Through working on these wards, I have developed skills needed to work with difficult patients. My roles on these wards have been activity and admin support. I have also been volunteering in the paediatric ward. As the paediatric ward is extremely busy, nurses often have little time to interact with the children on the ward.
Therefore, my role on this ward is to interact with children and help with play activities. This is an excellent experience because working with children has significantly improved my communication and listening skills. I have also supported charity events around the hospital. It is pleasing to provide patients with warmth and reassurance in a hospital environment which can often be daunting for most patients.
Throughout my volunteering experience I have also been helping with fundraising events both at the hospital and school. As part of this volunteering I have also been awarded for my achievements. In addition to my experience in the NHS, I have also had experience being at a local primary school which included assisting teachers and children who may have learning difficulties. From this work, I have also furthered my engagement skills and demonstrated the ability to communicate difficult information in simple formats and adapting to individual needs. I was also expected to support these children in activities such as reading, phonics, mathematics, and role-play.
You told us you act as a leader at your local gym, assisting in classes & motivating the members, this sounds awesome Jasanpreet! Tell us about how you started this?
During my free-time off university I like to go to the gym and encourage both myself and gym members to exercise. I started going to the gym with my mum last year – I realised that there were many members of the community that needed support and a boost in their confidence to take part in gym activities. Most of these members had an existing language barrier and were housewives. I realised that these individuals needed encouragement to get out the house and find some free time for their personal development.
I aimed to encourage them to and take part in the gym activities such as bike riding, swimming, and daily workouts. I also take part in the sessions to encourage and motivate members. I believe this is the best way to improve an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. I really wanted to make a positive contribution to my local community which is why I started doing this once a week or whenever I am free.
If you had to give one piece of advice to a new 1st year student who was interested in starting their award with us, what would you say?
I would strongly recommend students to take part in this award. I believe it is a brilliant opportunity to experience, explore, extend, and exceed in new opportunities. It is an amazing employability award which will allow you to unlock new opportunities both within and outside of university and improve your confidence. This also looks great on your CV, when presenting to potential employers!
Finally, along with your placement year, what does the future hold for you Jasanpreet?
Alongside my placement year, I hope to achieve great grades for my course and secure a graduate job. Until then, I would like to keep taking on opportunities that arise to maximise my skills and knowledge and stand as a role model for current and incoming students - to set an example.
My goodness, we’re simply blown away by Jasanpreet’s journey since arriving at BCU, she really has taken ownership of her professional & personal development! Would you like to speak to us about your BCU & Grad+ journey? We’d love to hear from you – please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org & we’ll get back to you.