Gemma Hemmingway from Woodham Community Technology College.
Adult Nursing Diploma
At school, what were your plans for the future?
I imagined working in health care as I’ve always wanted to work with people.
When did you decide to go to University and why?
At sixth form I researched my future and university seemed the way forward.
Who or what inspired you to follow your chosen path?
I have a disabled brother and I have helped my mother care for him over the years. I wanted to develop those skills. My mother has been my role model.
What did you think university would be like?
All parties and social life. It was hard work but I knuckled down to it. And I did have a good social life and made lots of friends on the course.
How did you feel when you first started at university?
Scared, young and unsure of my choice. I soon adjusted. In the first few weeks we were given an assignment to do, it was a culture shock and I realised I had to get down to some hard work.
What do you miss most about your time as a student?
Meeting new people and getting my teeth into new subjects.
What other skills have you developed?
I have become more confident and mature. I respect other people and their decisions; everybody has different qualities and interests.
If you could change anything what would it be?
I would leave home and move into the halls.
Has your Higher Education experience changed you?
Yes – I’m more mature and confident.
What are you doing now?
Staff nurse working in an intensive treatment unit.
Do you think you made the right choices?
Yes – I’m happy with my current life and those choices led to this.
What advice would you give to someone considering university?
Socialise but maintain your boundaries between work and play.
Do you think your degree helped you get where you are now?
Yes, without a doubt. Doing the course gave me an insight into the job. The placement helped become part of a team, and you certainly need those skills working in a busy intensive care unit. The practical side was a plus as it gave excellent working knowledge of the job.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I plan to study for a nursing degree.
What is your proudest achievement to date?
Graduating and becoming employed. My parents are also very pleased and proud as I am the first in the family to go to university.