My first degree was in computer science and I worked in various roles in this field, in Ireland and in the US, for just over 18 years. While working in the US, the cultural mix of my team spurred my fascination in how differences in culture impacted on human behaviour.
In the latter years of that first career, I began learning more about psychology, first as a hobby and then more seriously. I returned to college, completing a higher diploma and then a PhD in psychology. I have been particularly drawn to cognitive psychology, which is the study of mental processes such as attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity, and reasoning, particularly as it relates to health and wellbeing.
I started teaching, and simply knew the combination of research and learning was my ideal job. I started working in DCU in 2013 and was part of the group who formed the School of Psychology in 2019. I am also Chair of the Psychology Ethics Committee, and teach Psychology Research Skills and Community Wellbeing. My research spans health, social and cognitive psychology, for example, how technology and psychosocial supports can be used to support older adults as well as people with dementia.
Understanding our place in the world
Human beings are social animals. So much about studying, researching and teaching psychology is about understanding ourselves and our place in the world. It has a direct relevance to people's lives, including my own, and for that reason I love it!
This is a second career for me and one that I honestly knew nothing about when I left school. No-one in the family or among my friends' families worked in psychology. Your work makes up a significant portion of your life, so do something you enjoy. That may change over time and that is ok. It is never too late to move on to something new!