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Student Placement: Blog 2

This is the second in a series of Student Placement Blogs written by a 4 the year Psychology Student, Celine Josephine Giese

I am almost halfway through with my placement at Talking Mats in Stirling.
As already mentioned in my last blog, my role involves reading and interpreting stories of Talking Mats to inform investors on their outcomes. Once accurately interpreted, I record the specific elements onto an excel spreadsheet. This allows me to clearly see the positive impact that Talking Mats has upon people, which is an enriching and rewarding personal experience.


After collecting the data from the stories, I will interpret the outcomes and design a suitable visual representation such as bar graphs. When collecting the data, I noticed that the layout of the excel sheet could make this analysis problematic. I discussed this issue with my supervisor and we agreed that I could design a more simplified data collection sheet. Designing a more systematic excel sheet has slowed the story collection down but will be beneficial in the long run.


In preparation for a meeting my supervisor had with the investor I analysed the data collected from the stories so far. I designed some bar graphs and added brief descriptions of the outcomes, for which I have received positive feedback. I enjoyed taking this initiative and the visual representations of my work clearly illustrate the positive impact of Talking Mats. The bar graphs and descriptions informed my supervisor and colleagues that some categories were too broad and open for accurate interpretation, which in turn has identified issues with data collection. In a meeting, we discussed issues and defined the affected categories to ensure that further data collection will be more accurate. From this meeting I have decided to double check every single story I have analysed far to ensure that the categories and data collected is as precise as possible.


The atmosphere at Talking Mats is very lovely and everyone is very kind and supportive if I have any questions. During lunch when we all sit together I get to know everyone a bit better and additionally learn a bit more about their projects. This week I will have my mid-review meeting with my supervisor, which I look forward too. The experience of working at Talking Mats has enhanced many of my skills. Firstly, I was afraid of working on such an important project independently, however it turns out that I really enjoy working on something on my own, which has increased my independence and confidence in taking on responsibilities. Moreover, I have learned not to be afraid to ask for help if I do not understand something or if I am not a hundred percent sure about something, which is important. I have analysed data throughout my undergraduate degree, which has been very useful for this project. Ultimately, this experience further improves my excel and visual presentation skills. I look forward to continuing with the story project and I am eager to help with the analysis and I cannot wait to see the final report.

P.S. Celine’s supervision meeting went very well!! Watch out for her next post.