Posted Jan. 17, 2022
Meet Seren Alaeddinoglu, a recent graduate from UCL Psychological Sciences who's been learning about Horticultural Therapy, volunteering as a crisis counsellor and doing some translation work from her flat in Camden Town in London.
What did you study, why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?
I’ve just graduated from UCL, I studied for a Psychological Sciences MSc. I’m particularly interested in child psychology; I started working with children with learning difficulties five years ago and was drawn to work in this field, which is in turn, interesting, fun and challenging. Since then, I’ve had several other roles (paid and voluntary) supporting children and young adults with cognitive or physical impairments.
My dream career would be one in paediatric neuropsychology, which involves first qualifying as a clinical psychologist, and then undergoing further training in neuropsychology to understand the relationship between the brain and behaviour. Paediatric neuropsychologists use this knowledge to help children with brain disorders, injuries or developmental issues.
What was the most interesting thing you did, saw or got involved with while studying at UCL?
When I first started at UCL as an innocent undergrad, I got a job at the University of London Students' Union bar (also known as Student Central). I made friends for life and met so many interesting people, on both sides of the bar, studying all sorts of subjects at universities all over London. No shift was the same – we did sports nights, Friday club nights, pub quizzes, karaoke and music gigs.
Did you discover any hidden gems during your time at UCL?
Tavistock Square Gardens – especially in autumn. The trees are taller than the surrounding buildings and it’s a world set apart. Also, Ambala on Drummond Street, for the gorgeous Indian sweets and snacks.
Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:
The Happening Bagel Bakery in Finsbury Park. Once you’ve tried a hot halloumi bagel from Happening, you’ll never look back. New York Bakery Co., eat your heart out.
Hackney Canals. The water, the graffiti and the houseboats (look out for the ones with teeth) mean you can lose yourself for hours walking there, especially when nothing else was open during lockdown.
Salsa nights at Gabeto in Camden Market. When we’re finally able to dance again, that’s where I’ll be headed.
Who inspires you and why?
Real-life humans who I’ve met in person, like my friend Odessa, who I met on my degree. She overcomes obstacles that would make most people give up, including debilitating illness and disability. She is fiercely intelligent, driven, but is never too busy to help others who are struggling. She inspires me to continue on my career path, give back to other people, and always make the most of what life has to offer.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I love bees! I did a beekeeping course, own many bee-themed items, often paint bees and honey cakes are my favourite.
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