Aamena AkubatNursing: Mental Health
Aamena studies Mental Health Nursing. She likes that her placements are within the East London NHS Foundation Trust which is rated as outstanding.
What were you doing before you came to study at City?
I started my degree after taking a gap year to go travelling. I visited India, Dubai, Malaysia and Singapore. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and would recommend the journey to anyone.
What were the most important things you considered when applying to the University?
I am what is known as a ‘home girl’. As much as my parents wanted me to move away and learn some independence, there was no way they could get rid of me as I simply wanted to stay at home. Therefore, location and transport means were vital in deciding which university I wanted.
Also, the format of the course i.e. when we will be going out to placement and what kind of modules we will be studying was very important. It was great that I got the opportunity to hear first-hand on the experiences previous students had of the course and their opinions on the Open Day, this helped validate my choice.
Once you'd received offers from different universities how did you make your decision to choose City?
From the experience of visiting City and sessions I attended on the Open Day with the information I had accumulated about City, I simply knew that it was the place for me. I weighed it up against other universities with the same course but the location, format and experiences of previous students made the decision for me.
What is your favourite thing about studying at City?
My favourite thing about studying at City is that on my nursing course, we have a big affiliation with ELFT (East London NHS Foundation Trust). From the inspections conducted this year, as well as previous years, they received an ‘outstanding’ award. I think this is great considering that I can study and gain experience from a NHS Trust that has such great recognition. I also believe that this will help my job prospects if I wish to gain my full-time post within the trust, as I have experience of already working with them.
What kind of things are you involved in outside your course?
I am an active member of ISOC (Islamic Society). I have organised and participated in several charity events.
I have been a student representative for my course since first year. This means that I am the bridge between staff and students. If students have any queries and don’t know how to act on it, then they can turn to me for guidance and I can help guide them in the right direction or link them with the appropriate member of staff. I also have to attend a general meeting every term with all the student reps from all the different schools within the University and lots of members of staff from different departments. We come together to speak about the progress of the University itself and what staff or students or even collectively what anyone can do differently to improve the courses or the University.
I am also a Student Ambassador which means I can select certain assignments such as student selection days or events the University are hosting to help on. This is a paid job so it definitely helps the pocket, but more than anything the flexibility of the job is what makes it easy to work and study.
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
As I already have lots of experience of working with ELFT during my placements and it is close to home, I look forward to applying and hopefully working as a staff nurse within the trust. I hope to start off in an acute setting, as it is the most challenging and as a newly qualified nurse it only makes sense to put my energy in an area which can test me to the limit. Once I have gained lots of experience in managing such situations, I look forward to moving around the trust to different services such as forensics, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and community settings.
What would be your top tip for our applicants?
I would highly recommend applicants visit potential universities before making the decision to apply. What you see on paper isn’t everything! It’s important to see the university and really picture yourself being there and getting an idea of the location and surroundings.