Alumni Profile – Rianna Patterson

Rianna Patterson

When were you at the University, and what degree did you study?

I studied Psychology between 2017-2020.

What inspired you to study Psychology?

My grandfather passed away with Dementia in 2016, so I began exploring more into memory and human behaviour. Psychology quickly became something I wanted to pursue further as I wanted to understand dementia and other mental health disorders.

How did your degree/experience at university help lead you into your current career?

It has helped to contribute to social impact projects and contribute to research through understanding different approaches to research.

I am also currently embarking on a dementia film project, to tackle ageism in the media. I have been able incorporate my creative and theoretical approach on psychology through this documentary, that I am currently crowdfunding to produce.

The theories that were explored in my degree also helped me to understand human behaviour. This can been useful for improving my self-awareness and the awareness of others. I also use my degree at my current workplace as I do research on youth development as a Young Programme Lead.

I also developed my entrepreneurial and marketing skills whilst at university as I was involved in volunteer work. I spoke at TEDx whilst at the University of Kent in 2018 on Dementia.

Moreover, I have personally developed through my university experiences.

Can you tell us about your life after Kent?

I am currently employed as a Young Adult Programme Lead at ReapSource. I coordinate a youth employment programme, in support of the UK Government Kickstart Scheme to get young people 16-25 who are on Universal Credit back into work.

I am also working on my personal brand, through public speaking engagements, storytelling and social impact projects. I provide personal development coaching to help individuals and corporate with productivity and building positive habits at work

I also act as a trustee for Age UK Hythe and Vana Trust. As well as that, I act as an advisor to Dominica Dementia Foundation, which is a charity I set up in 2016, in memory of my grandfather who passed away with Dementia.

I have been exploring my creative and entrepreneurial side even further and it has been such a fulfilling journey.

What is your favourite memory from the University?

I think my favourite memory of coming to Kent was my mum and grandmother coming to support me. Unfortunately, my gran has now passed away whilst at University, so that is a memory I hold dear to my heart.