BSc Sociology, Graduate 2013

I chose my course because I have a keen interest in people's behaviour and interaction and will pursue a career focused on clients and working with vulnerable people in society. Studying Sociology has provided me with invaluable knowledge of the social world and skills I can use in a number of different job roles.

For my placement year I worked full time in a homeless centre in Central London. The experience I gained during this time was invaluable and I learnt so much during my time there.

My role was a full-time volunteer and worked very closely with the small team of support workers and staff there. I took on a lot whilst there and made use of my time. The centre provides primary support to rough sleepers such as a drop-in where clients can make use of the shower facilities, canteen and NHS services. As well as the basic services, we provided professional advice to clients and worked closely with outreach agencies such as JHT (working with clients with mental health issues) and HAART (working with high risk clients and offenders).

I took on a range of responsibilities such as working with the Fundraiser to raise awareness on social networking sites and helping to run groups such as Creative Writing, ICT and Art. I worked closely with the Project Workers and often took clients to appointments or helped them set up bank accounts or apply for ID at embassies. I also wrote CVs for many clients including people who spoke little English and helped them to get into work.

My work at the homeless centre was extremely rewarding. I got to live in Central London for a year and work with the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Every day was different and I combatted many different challenges. Working here helped me discover what field I wanted to go into after I graduate and helped me to realise my talents and strengths. It has given me both confidence and determination for when I enter the job market.

My favourite modules have been those concerning inequalities such as Race, Education and Health studies. They have given me insight into how inequalities such as race, class and gender impact on people in society and why they exist. Modules such as these helped me during placement as they provided me with a better understanding of the amount of issues vulnerable people face, the necessity of services and the importance of viewing people as individuals rather than as a group.

When I graduate I want to complete a Masters in Counselling and become a counsellor for vulnerable people. I have always wanted to help people but it was my course which has helped me to understand the issues different people face and my placement which has helped me to discover my strengths and how to use them in a positive way.

Chloe Piper

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