Gareth Pocock is a final year BSc Nursing student at QMU. He was born in Melbourne, Australia.
Gareth Pocock is a final year BSc Nursing student at QMU. He was born in Melbourne, Australia, and has lived in Edinburgh for around twelve years. It was never really Gareth’s plan to settle in the UK, but this is where life has brought him. He loves living in Scotland and he thinks it’s such a beautiful country.
Why did you choose to study nursing at QMU?
“For me, studying nursing was a career change which has proved to be an excellent choice. I have mainly worked in retail and was looking for a new, more satisfying challenge. Over the years I have worked as a farm hand, a youth hostel assistant, a ski lift operator, a supermarket cashier, and even a rickshaw runner. Most of my previous jobs have been working with people and that’s an aspect of nursing I really enjoy.
“I came back to study as a mature student after about fifteen years out of formal education. I had studied at a tertiary level previously, but had never really taken full advantage of my qualifications, so was pleased to be studying something new. I’ve enjoyed the challenge using my brain again and learning new concepts.”
What do you like most about studying at QMU?
“When I visited QMU for the interview process, I was impressed with the quality of the facilities and the staff I met meant I was keen to apply.
“I’ve enjoyed my nursing course so far and have learned a lot. The best part is going out on clinical placement and working in a variety of settings. I’ve had a great range of hospital and community placements and worked with lots of great nurses and other healthcare professionals.
“Some of the experiences have been difficult, and challenging, but it has certainly been a good part of my nursing education. The night shifts are a bit tough, but it’s part of the learning process.”
What do you like most about living in Edinburgh?
“Edinburgh is a great place to live. It’s such a small city, that you can get around easily and there’s so much to see and do. I live near Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat and love being able to ride and run there regularly. Having such an excellent park in the middle of the city makes it a great place to live. The Old Town is an excellent place to explore. The closes running off the Royal Mile are interesting to wander around and there are great spots to eat and drink.
“I did get offers from other universities, and did consider commuting, but I’m really glad that I received an offer from QMU, it’s much closer to home.”
“My top tip for anyone starting studying is to stay organised and try to make a start on work as soon as possible. I like knowing when all of my deadlines are for the year so that I can have them in my mind and work towards them. Then I can try to have some time away from studying to spend with my family and friends. I think it’s important to do maintain interests outside of university.
“I would certainly encourage people of any age who are considering a career in nursing to apply. It has been a positive move for me and I’m confident that I will have a good future career as a nurse. Doing some volunteering, perhaps on a ward or similar, is a good way to get a taste of nursing beforehand and will look good on an application. I’m not sure where I will end up working, but I’m sure it will be somewhere here in Scotland.”
Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)
Gareth made a successful application to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to receive financial support for his studies at QMU. For more information on SAAS, visit: www.saas.gov.uk
For more information on BSc (Hons) Nursing at QMU, visit: www.qmu.ac.uk/courses/UGCourse2017.cfm?c_id=69
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