Where Are You Now?

Joe McPartland

Joe McPartland 

BSc Psychology 2019 

Joe started his role as Customer Advocacy Coordinator at Barclaycard just before the lockdown hit the UK last year. After graduating with a first-class degree in the summer of 2019, Joe started to apply for jobs while he kept his part-time job at Tesco and also used this time to travel to Wales. 

Despite being rejected many times when applying for jobs, Joe persevered and says patience is key when entering the job market.  

He explained: “I felt demotivated when I would get rejected from workplaces, but it’s imperative to not give up and ask for feedback where you can. There are many reasons as to why you may not be offered a job, especially when it’s your first job since graduating, but your time will come! Every interview I failed gave me something new to add next time. 

Joe, who is the first-generation graduate in his family, was attracted to the University of Sunderland after visiting on an Open Day. 

He said: “Sunderland is a fairly local university to me, and I really liked the atmosphere from both staff and students. 

After failing his A-levels, Joe considers his biggest achievement to date graduating with a first-class honours degree.  

He is grateful to Dr Becci Owens for giving him the confidence in his ability to learn.  

Dr Becci Owens led many of my classes. Not only did she teach me the basics of Psychology, but she also gave me the confidence in my ability to learn,” he saidThree years later, she became my dissertation supervisor.  

For Joe, adjusting to his job at Barclays has been one of his biggest challenges to date.  

He explained: “My role at Barclaycard is to provide customers who contact us with a final response on behalf of the bank. I need to investigate a variety of cases raised with us like fraud, merchant disputes, complaints, etc, and pro-actively contact customers with a response and make the necessary financial adjustments where possible. 

He concluded: “I do not plan to be in this job forever, however, I am currently undergoing an application to become a colleague champion for mental health. I explained to my senior managers that I wish to use my personal development time promoting positive wellbeing using the skills the University of Sunderland taught me.  

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