I teach students and study for a PhD in Edinburgh. I love music and own three instruments, but cannot play any of them to save my life!
I’m from Poland and moved to the UK when I was 13. I found moving to a new country as a teenager a difficult. But made some friends pretty quickly, so it was ok. I love music! Although rock is my favourite, I listen to lots of different types of music. I love Disney movies and I’m not ashamed to admit it 🙂 My favourites are the classics, like Lion King and Beauty and the Best, but I also like their more recent films, like Brave and Princess and the Frog. I also love food in any way, shape or form. I often cook at home and love trying new and foreign recipes! I normally never order meat dishes when eating at a restaurant – I love trying vegetarian or vegan dishes I would never normally cook myself! I also love watching crime documentaries and if I wasn’t such a chicken, I’d love to be a forensic psychologist, working with criminals in prison. But I’m not tough enough for that 🙂
My pronouns are:
I am currently researching my PhD, looking at what leisure activities (like learning a new language) can help us keep our brain sharp as we get older.
In my work, I see a lot of older adults. I have been part of a project with 336 of them for the last 6 years, where they come to the University to have their brains (and other things) tested. The session lasts around 3 hours, so I always make sure we have a good laugh together 🙂 Making a nice cup of tea and coffee is my special superpower 🙂 I have also previously worked with older adults with dementia (this is where their brains are not so healthy, and they often forget things). Alongside my PhD work, I also teach students at University and enjoy talking to those really interested in psychology.
My Typical Day:
I start my morning with some Nutella oats and coffee. I like to put fruit like blueberries or mango in my oats to make them more interesting. I normally try to get to work for 9am but I also sometimes work from home. While at work, I do some teaching, experiments and writing. I usually have my lunch around 1pm, and will often have that with friends. I normally finish work around 5pm and go home. I then have dinner and watch some crime documentary or an action film if my husband is not watching football!
From September to May, I teach students at University a couple of days a week. That’s normally my busiest time and I get a bit stressed, so my husband always makes sure we go on a short break in October and then again around April because he knows I need it 🙂 I usually spend the rest of the week (and summer months) working on my PhD. I have done lots of experiments with older adults over the summer, so I am now putting everything onto the computer and will be looking at my results soon. Although not a typical day, I also go to conferences to present my work. I recently went to Belgium and had the most delicious waffles!
What I'd do with the prize money:
We do a lot of cool stuff at the University, for example, some of my friends work with robots. I would use the money to get school-aged children to come along and see some of those things in action and hopefully inspire them to think about a career in research!
I started school in Poland and then moved to the UK when I was 13. I went to high school and sixth form in Rochdale. I moved to Wolverhampton to study Psychology when I was 18, and then to Edinburgh to do some more studying. I then worked for 7 years before starting my PhD in Edinburgh two and a half years ago.
I have done my GCSEs at Wardle High School in Rochdale. My elective subjects were French, Art, Media Studies and Textiles and Design. I then did my A-levels at Oldham Sixth Form, taking Psychology, Law, French and Maths. I then went to Wolverhampton University to do my first degree (BSc) in Psychology, and continued with a masters (MSc) in Human Cognitive Neuropsychology (learning about the brain in a lot of detail) at the University of Edinburgh. I am currently studying for my PhD in Psychology at Heriot-Watt University, also in Edinburgh.
I started work as a barmaid in a pub in Rochdale while studying for my A-levels. I worked in similar jobs throughout University, as well as being a Residential Assistant at the student halls, where I lived while studying at University. I got a job in a bank after finishing my masters degree. Two years later, I got a research job at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. I have since worked at the Student Service Centre and Human Resources, and I’m now working at the Department of Psychology (all at the same University).
Graduate Teaching Assistant (I teach students and do my PhD)
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Tests people's brains
What did you want to be after you left school?
A psychologist, although I wanted to be lots of different things as a child.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Forensic scientist helping solve crimes. I love watching them on telly!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
There are too many good rock bands! But I would say Trivium are my favourite.
What's your favourite food?
Any type of pasta. Yum!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1) Have more money, so I could visit lots of cool places. 2) Be able to fly. 3) Have Michael Jackson over for dinner.
Tell us a joke.
Did you know that Bruce Lee had a vegetarian brother? His name is Broccoli!