Having completed a social enterprise leadership programme, psychology graduate Jack Scriven is applying his skills at a start-up that provides environmentally sustainable building materials.
MA (Hons) Psychology
|Year of Graduation
Your time at the University
I chose Edinburgh University as I wanted to experience something different. Lots of my friends were applying to similar universities in England and I wanted to be somewhere both academically challenging and culturally engaging.
I joined the University in September 2000 to study psychology, initially through the Faculty of Science and later switching to Arts. The switch between faculties and the breadth of disciplines within Psychology allowed me to explore a broad and fascinating range of subjects.
Notable highlights through my time at Edinburgh include writing an essay at the start of first year on the fascinating social adaptations of ants (which was mainly intended to teach us good referencing in first year), to studying philosophy of science and later psychology courses in anomalous experiences, consciousness and my final dissertation project on the perception of emotion in musical performance.
I have fond memories of working with Professor Dave Lee on my dissertation project and greatly enjoyed the practicality of wiring movement sensors to musician and analysing both sound and movement profiles.
Coming from a state school in England it initially took me a while to find my feet, many of the Scottish students or privately educated students had arrived with friends from school, but it didn’t take long to make a varied group of friends, some remaining very close friends.
[...] I decided I wanted to apply myself to finding an alternative, to working in and building businesses with purpose.
Your experiences since leaving the University
Psychology at Edinburgh gave me a broad range of hard and soft skills, but it took me a little while to decide where best to apply them. Following my degree I undertook some research work for at the Saïd Business School in Oxford. It was through this work looking at various corporate scandals including the then-recent collapse of Enron that I decided I wanted to apply myself to finding an alternative, to working in and building businesses with purpose.
This wasn’t a quick transition, I spent a number of years qualifying in finance as part of a corporate graduate scheme while doing various voluntary work. However, after qualifying I quickly transitioned by joining On Purpose - a one-year social enterprise leadership programme. This helped me to connect with leading social enterprises while getting training and support with a group of like-minded people. Through the programme, I went on to work in leadership roles with JustGiving and HCT Group, a rapidly growing commercially funded charity providing community transport.
More recently I have joined the leadership team at EnviroBuild, a rapidly growing start-up providing environmentally sustainable building materials. There are growing numbers of purpose-driven businesses and I really believe in the continued growth of the sector and the growing demand for real change from consumers.
It took me a bit of time to find my feet but by exploring new interests and subjects you can quickly find shared passions and meet new friends who share your values. There are so many places your degree can take you.