Graduation 2023 student speakers: Jaden Moonsammy

Posted on: 25 July 2023 by Sarah-Kate O'Hara in July 2023 posts

Jaden Moonsammy giving his speech at the graduation ceremony

Jaden Moonsammy graduated in July 2023 from the Department of Psychology. He was asked to speak on behalf of his cohort at the graduation ceremony, which was held in the Philharmonic Hall. We spoke to Jaden about his time at Liverpool and his future plans.

Tell us a little bit about yourself...

I graduated from the University in July 2023 with a 2:1 in Psychology - a degree I thoroughly enjoyed studying for. During my time at Liverpool.

I have tried to make the most of the many co-curricular opportunities offered by the University to broaden my horizons, but also just the chance to try out something new. I have always enjoyed sports and Athletics was a natural choice to take part in, given my history with the sport at school. There is a society for just about any sport or hobby you can think of [at the Liverpool Guild of Students], so there is always an opportunity to meet people with similar interests.

I’m still deciding what direction I wish to head in after completing my degree, but I am particularly interested in exploring opportunities to showcase the skills I have learnt outside the realms of psychology, potentially in the world of business in an area like marketing.

Why did you pick the course you studied?

I first encountered Psychology as an A-level subject and I fell in love with the discipline. I had already decided that I wanted to pursue a scientific degree and the more I engaged with the A-level syllabus, the more appealing the idea of studying a Psychology degree became. How we live each day, the decisions we make and how we process the outcomes of these are all controlled by our psychological functioning.

The degree educates you on a broad range of psychological debates - some topics well established and others at the forefront of cutting-edge research, to better our understanding of the mind and its function. In addition, this degree refines many skills that can be utilised outside the realms of psychology and are highly valued by employers across many sectors.

What were the main highlights of your time at the University of Liverpool?

It would be almost impossible to pick a best moment, but many of the highlights of my time at Liverpool focus around the great people I have had the privilege of meeting since joining the University in 2020.

I would recommend to anyone embarking on university life to join a society of some sort. Not only does this provide an opportunity to socialise and meet new people, but it is great for those who a struggling to meet people at university and benefits mental well-being.

Some of the best moments include Liverpool varsity match days, albeit in the pouring rain, but an electric atmosphere nonetheless and the honour of bringing the university mascot Lenny the liverbird to life at the BUCS indoor athletics championships. It was also a privilege to be selected by the members of Liverpool Athletics and Cross Country to captain the athletics team in my final year, where I had much more involvement in the running of club and activities for members. It was a fantastic opportunity to give back to the society and shape the university life of those just beginning at Liverpool who were passionate about athletics, or just looking to meet new people.

Of course, a strong contender for my best day at university has to be my graduation. It was the ultimate privilege to be selected to speak during my ceremony, a true once in a lifetime opportunity that I will look back on for years to come.

To see how proud I made my family and friends, made celebrating my success all the better. With this opportunity, I tried to create something unique, memorable and relatable for people to take away from the ceremony.

What are your doing now/ what are your plans for the future?

Over the last few weeks I’ve been celebrating my graduation success with my family and friends back in Nottingham. However, I intend to return to Liverpool in the Autumn for one more year.

In the future, I’ve not closed off the idea of returning to education and actively pursue a psychology related career. However, at the moment I wish to take many of the transferable skills that this degree has taught me and gain experience in sectors such as business, in particular marketing, where many skills from an undergraduate psychology degree can be applied.

What would you tell your first-year self if you could?

I think one of the keys to a successful and enjoyable university life is to push yourself outside your comfort zone. Whether that be trying something new or going to socials where you may not know anyone. That first step is always the hardest if it goes against the kind of person you naturally are. Often beforehand you may be nervous, but once you have done it the first time, it begins to get a lot easier and once you start meeting new people it becomes very enjoyable.

Another thing I would say relevant across all years, but particularly related to academic work in second and third year, would be that procrastination is the biggest enemy to productivity.

It is important to seize the moment and attempt to make that start on whatever it is you’re avoiding. Try it for 15 minutes. If it isn’t working, have a break and try again. Similar to the above advice, the first step is often the hardest. Once you’re into the rhythm things get easier.

Featured quote from Jaden’s graduation speech:

“I leave with you a closing thought from the late Harriet Tubman. ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars.’"