Lilli Ford

Lilli Ford

Teacher Aide, Summit Point School
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

She would 100% recommend AUT’s Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, says Lilli Ford who completed her degree at the end of 2023.

“Psychology at AUT is an amazing programme. AUT was my choice of university for many reasons: it has a great atmosphere for learning, with kind and enthusiastic peers and staff, and the class sizes are smaller and allow for a more interactive learning environment. This makes it easier for everyone to feel comfortable to share their ideas and feel listened to.

“Another great part of studying at AUT is the workplace experience that undergraduates can get involved in. For me, this was important when deciding where I wanted to study as I figured it would give me the opportunity to put my learning into practice and get a glimpse into working life.”

She chose the Bachelor of Arts because of how broad the degree is.

“After leaving high school I wasn’t certain what I wanted to choose as a career path. I’ve always had an interest in the brain, understanding people and behaviour. I figured that studying psychology would be a great way for me to learn more about what interests me.”

Helpful and inspiring
For Lilli, the people she met throughout her studies were among the highlights of her time at AUT.

“I enjoyed getting to meet so many lovely people at AUT. The tutors are incredibly helpful and understanding, and the other students are always supportive. Having that kind environment while studying makes it fun and enjoyable. It also makes it way less stressful when you have people around you who are always there for you and want to see you succeed.”

There was one lecturer who particularly impressed her.

“In my second year, I had one of those lightbulb moments while I was taking a course on prisons and punishment and the guest lecturer, Grace Gordon, spoke with such passion about prisoners having access to proper rights and needs. She made me realise that I want to have a future in helping people who are vulnerable. It was also really cool to listen to her because she is a young female, putting herself out there to stand for what she believes in. I found that pretty inspiring.”

Making a positive difference
Her degree confirmed that she wants to help people in one capacity or another, Lilli says.

“After graduating from AUT, I’m currently working as a teacher aide at Summit Point School; a specialised school for students who are dyslexic or autistic, or have ADHD or other disorders and learning disabilities.

“I love working here because of how rewarding it is to see the kids grow and develop new skills. Working in a school is a great way to help children learn not only academically but also emotionally. It’s great seeing them regulate their emotions and show kindness towards one another. In addition to my work, I’m also studying a diploma in counselling and guidance, and I’d love to continue working in an education setting and help children through a guidance role.”

She has some great advice for other students who are only at the start of their university journey.

“My advice would be to keep an open mind during the university experience – towards what you’re learning to find what sparks your passion but also to new experiences. Embrace everything fully and make the most of it all. There are so many great opportunities AUT has to offer. If you see something that you might even remotely be interested in, jump for it because you never know what doors it could open for you.”