Alumni Profile – Nicola Woolf, Senior Educational Psychologist
Following the successful and well-attended ‘Class of ’75’ reunion, we were delighted to catch up with Nicola Woolf, co-organiser of the reunion to find out about her career path.
Nicola attended Richmond School from 1975-1982; she was Head Girl 1981-82. After leaving Richmond School, Nicola spent her gap year in the USA before studying Psychology at Edinburgh University and Education at Cambridge University. She went on to study at Masters level at UCL London and the Institute of Education. She also worked as a teacher in the UK, Mexico and Bahrain.
Nicola has travelled extensively through Asia and the Americas but she is most proud of her trip back to Richmond for the ‘Class of 75’ reunion in May 2022. She currently lives in the ‘other Richmond’ and works as a senior educational psychologist in Lambeth, London, with a special interest in autism.
Nicola said: “I have many happy and cherished memories of Richmond school and I am delighted to be able to share some with you. It is true that exams were stressful, essays at times tedious and routines a little mundane. But we also shared some wonderful moments: a theatre trip, a concert performance, a green room party. What I remember most was how our teachers shared their enthusiasm with us, giving us the opportunity and confidence to try new things, develop new skills and meet new people.
“What has inspired me and what might inspire you? Without doubt the focus and dedication of my teachers at Richmond School. Mr Lynch and his team spent time with us, nurtured us and also brought a huge sense of fun to our world. Even the coffee bar I helped run had a magical quality at the time.
“If I had to give advice I would say capitalise on your existing skills and enjoy the moment. The rest should come. Try not to regret your decisions or any unexpected paths you may take; be true to yourself and enjoy your journeys. Try not to make decisions to please other people – find a way to take advice but stay honest to what you want for yourself. Get support from your friends and family when you need and help others along the way when you can.
“It is important you look after yourself emotionally and physically and try to develop resilience as you start your careers and adult lives. We are all turned down from jobs and career paths at some stage and we all have times of self-doubt and sadness. Try to keep a balanced and joyful outlook and enjoy the company of those you love and care for most in life.”