During the week I share my time between being a Catalyst Team Member and a Psychology undergraduate. I usually spend one day a week at Sussex Innovation Centre, and four days studying. The Catalyst Team doesn’t hire part time team members, but as I was going into second year, I was lucky enough to be offered a role on a part time basis. Balancing my time between the two worlds offers a unique set of opportunities for my time in Brighton.
In September I started my second year at the University of Sussex. This included learning about the chemistry of neurotransmitter receptors in ‘Brain and Behaviour’, the evolution of language in humans in ‘Cognitive Psychology’, a variety of statistical analyses in ‘Discovering Statistics’, and whether morality is relative in ‘Truth and Morality: The Meaning of Life’.
In November I started my time at Catalyst. Highlights of this included getting suited and booted, and going up to Canary Wharf to learn about innovations in the payments industry. On my first day. The majority of the team had been working full time for a while, so the day gave me a great chance to meet them all and bond with them, especially when we went for a few beers after. Who knew that Canary Wharf on a Friday night was a nightlife hotspot?
Fast forward six months and I had become well integrated into the office. Jonathan Line had left the building. J Line was in. He was a man with a plan: To bring a weekly dose of positive motivation to the office. Some might even call me a….catalyst of positivity.
Coming in once a week allowed me to take on a range of long term and shorter term projects. One of these projects is curating Spotify playlists based on the music tastes of the Catalyst and Support Team. As well as infusing the office with discussions about the best ‘golden oldie’, being part time allows me to be an extra pair of hands around the office. I have helped with market research, UX testing and social media campaigns. Coming to work for Catalyst gives me a break from university every week. It also shows me why it is worth getting my degree.
Being a student has also proven helpful to the job. I have had lectures about how values in the workplace differ across both individuals and cultures, which is a great insight when working with a variety of start-up companies from a variety of backgrounds.
For a student who is thinking of pursuing Occupational Psychology in the future (the psychology of the workplace), being a student part-time and working for Catalyst part-time has provided me with great opportunities to fuse together psychological theory and business experience.