Tracey is studying the PGDip in Child Nursing. This course is allowing her to move to a new career path and develop professionally.
What was your main motivation to undertake postgraduate study?
I wanted a change and some development from what I was doing beforehand. All members of my family have completed a master’s degree so I thought if they can do it, I can too. I’ve had enough of a break so what better time than now. My main motivation was that I wanted to be qualified so had to decide what the best and most practical route was for me to do so.
What were the factors that influenced your decision making when considering postgraduate study?
Location was a key factor as I wanted something that was local. I can walk to the university from where I live and it’s only a 10 min walk from my son’s nursery. The fact that no transport is required was a very attractive point. Additionally, when I sought opinions from my friends in regards to what university I should accept out of all my offers, they all unanimously suggested City.
What were, if any, the main challenges that affected your decision about postgraduate study? How did you overcome them?
Having a young child was the main challenge that affected my decision. I was worried about childcare, childcare costs and whether academically I was ready to return to study after 5 years since my last degree. Also juggling placement with assignments was a concern of mine.
Why did you choose City?
I felt very welcomed on all the occasions I visited City and staff took the time to answer all my questions. City staff also made sure that I knew what to expect and exactly what would be required of me doing the course. They asked me about my existing work and family commitments and how I was planning to manage those whilst studying.
What has been your student experience at City so far?
My student experience has been great. I’m happy with my decision of coming to City and would definitely recommend it. I have made friends for life. Additionally lecturers actually know who you are and make an effort to actually speak to you and check how you are getting on, not just on the course but in the university as a whole and personally.
How studying a postgraduate degree has helped you develop personally and professionally?
I have become more assertive, confident and more organised. I’ve also overcome my fear of having difficult conversations.
What skills and knowledge do you think the course has helped you develop?
The course has helped me develop my knowledge of different aspects of child health, e.g. what illnesses affect premature in comparison to full term babies. It has also helped me understand what career pathways I can pursue in the future.
What opportunities and experiences City has offered you during your course?
I have been able to take part in a number of research opportunities and have helped the university with trial assessment papers. I’m also a student representative and have worked as a student ambassador and applied to other temp jobs via Unitemps.
What advice would you give to people thinking about postgraduate study?
Postgraduate study requires a lot of critical thinking. Critical thinking and synthesis is what gets you the top marks.
What are your career plans once you have completed your postgraduate degree?
I plan on topping up my PGDip to a full master’s degree and then work part time as a qualified paediatric nurse.
How do you think City has equipped you for the next stage in your career journey?
We have had sessions on personal statement, drug calculation and interview techniques which are all required to apply for a nursing job. Additionally, I’ve discussed and received information related to further study.
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