My name is Linnea and I am currently in my final year studying QMU's BSc (Hons) Public Sociology. I have been a Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS) leader since the programme was first introduced in the division of Psychology and Sociology in 2018.

As Peer Academic Learning in Psychology and Sociology had only just been set up when I joined, it was completely new to both me and the other leaders. This gave us the opportunity to be fully involved in the process of shaping PALS in our department; how we run sessions, what kinds of sessions we run and what learning approach we take. This experimentation with different approaches and focuses to find something that works for individual sessions is something I have very much enjoyed.

Being a PALS leader has benefitted me in a number of different ways. It has been a way for me to develop and improve on numerous transferable skills in a fun and engaging environment; with communication skills, organisation skills and teamwork being only a few examples. Moreover, it allowed me to attend two PALS-specific conferences last year –in Brighton and Loughborough – which were both interesting and informative experiences. Being a PALS leader has similarly benefitted me academically, as running sessions allows me to solidify, enhance and rethink the knowledge and skills I have in relation to specific modules or areas of study. Lastly, my favourite aspect of being a PALS leader has been to get to know students in other levels and programmes within the division – both attendees and leaders. Talking to people I probably would have had limited contact with, due to the nature of separate year groups and programmes, is what I have found to be the most enjoyable aspect of PALS over the last two years. In all, it has very much contributed to how much I have enjoyed my time as an undergraduate in my programme specifically, as well as at QMU as a whole.

"Being a PALS leader has benefitted me in a number of different ways. It has been a way for me to develop and improve on numerous transferable skills in a fun and engaging environment; with communication skills, organisation skills and teamwork being only a few examples"