Building industry experience and knowledge was a key consideration for Eleonora when choosing a degree and she’s excelled at Portsmouth
I left my full-time job as a restaurant manager in Australia to come study at the University of Portsmouth, and I did not regret it.
When choosing the right option, I was amazed by what the BSc Criminology with Psychology course had to offer at Portsmouth. I loved that I could create my degree depending on the optional modules I picked, and the presence of a year abroad or placement year as an option. That’s exactly what I was looking for to gain a more international mindset, boost my employability chances, and see how what I learnt applies to different settings.
It took some emotional strength to leave my full-time job and go back to university. I was afraid I was going to struggle as I am slightly more mature than the average student, but in the end, I made the right decision.
Gaining experience in the UK and Canada
I have had multiple industry-related job opportunities since I came to university, among which was working on a lie-detection study where I joined some teaching staff as a researcher. We have just started work on the second research phase, a cross-cultural study in which we will investigate lying and truth-telling techniques in English, Italian and Dutch.
I volunteer for the Police and Crime Commissioner, as the leader of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team in the Youth Commission, and have investigated crime rates in Portsmouth by working with the City Council. I am currently the student representative for my course and I have been employed by the university as a faculty marketing assistant, where I work around my study commitments.
What I have learnt at university helped me during my experiences with research, but the module that I enjoyed the most was the Crimes of the Powerful, which inspired my dissertation topic and future career. I learned how to critically think and write academically, and now I see things from various perspectives. I am proud of myself for being able to reach this proficiency in a language that is not my native one, since I am Italian.
Each seminar and lecture is extremely interesting, but my favourite thing about the degree is the opportunity of studying a year abroad.
As a year abroad experience, I am currently studying in Canada at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, before returning to Portsmouth for my final year and graduation.
The opportunity to connect with people working in law enforcement on the other side of the world is priceless. It has allowed me to gain a more international perspective on current world issues, and has helped me network with professionals and people with the same goals as me.
The university has provided me with support throughout the whole experience, ensuring I arrived safely, and sends periodic emails to check in with me. I appreciate the support given but, most of all, the chance to expand my horizons by attending the partner institute.
Advice for others
To someone questioning whether Portsmouth is a good choice, I would stress how amazingly flexible the structure of the course is.
The Careers and Employability Service and the teaching staff are really supportive and there are so many opportunities to engage with your chosen field.
Plus, there is a chance to learn a language for free, which I took advantage of by studying British Sign Language and Chinese.
In the future, my ambition is to fight human trafficking, that is my career goal, and I am sure the university will provide me with the tools needed for the task.