Hometown: Edinburgh, Scotland

 

How did you come to choose the course and why QMU? 

During my final couple of years of school I had decided I wanted to be in a job where I could work with people in some sort of caring role. I had an interest in the health sciences so I undertook work experience in both the radiography and occupational therapy departments of a local NHS hospital. I enjoyed both but the experience made me realise the OT role was more person-focussed and on further reading I felt there were more varied job opportunities from an OT degree than was the case with some of the other health science courses.

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?

I visited all three universities in Scotland that offered the undergraduate OT course but I felt the best vibe from QMU. I have always been quite a home bird too so it was important for me to be somewhere that I could touch base with my family and friends. 

Living Away from Home

Where did you live whilst studying?  

I stayed at home in the West of Edinburgh whilst studying.

If you were living in halls what was the best part? 

Although I wasn't living in halls I didn't feel this restricted me from forming friendships with other people on the course. There were a good number of people that were in the same position as, me living at home, but to be honest everyone was really friendly and I definitely made some friends for life during my time at QMU.

Life in Edinburgh – what was the best experience you had in Edinburgh? Are there any hidden ‘gems’ you’d like to share?  

A hotspot for both locals and visitors and close enough to QMU for those on campus has to be Luca of Musselburgh - the best ice cream in Edinburgh! A great place for a catch up if you're not in the mood for a trip to the pub.

"In the end it turned out to be the placement I learnt most on and was nowhere near as scary as I thought. Also don't feel limited having to work in a typical NHS role following graduation - the skills you learn on this course give you loads of potential!"
Claire Cumming

The Course

Did you attend an Open Day? If so was there any aspect of the University which made up your mind for you? 

Yes I attended both an open day and the interview day also gave me the opportunity to get to know more about both QMU and the course. I liked the feel around the campus it's not a huge city style uni so it's not too overwhelming. The thing that sticks out to me most about my visits to QMU is hearing one of the fourth year OT students speak at the interview day about how positive her experience had been and the support that was available.

What was the most interesting part of the course? Either something you learned or a particular activity.  

I really enjoyed the varied ways of learning on the course. Most of our time in class was structured as lectures in the morning with a group task to consider over lunch and then present in the afternoon. We also had the opportunity however to take part in practical sessions, conference style days and also master classes on specific subjects of interest.

Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?

In the end it turned out to be the placement I learnt most on and was nowhere near as scary as I thought.

Also don't feel limited having to work in a typical NHS role following graduation - the skills you learn on this course give you loads of potential!

Be prepared to go with the flow when it comes to placements - you don't get to choose what settings you’re placed in but sometimes the setting you think will be your worst nightmare turns out to be a great experience. This was the case for me. I said I would quit if I got placed in A&E but in second year guess where I got placed ...yup A&E!

After Graduation

Tell us what happened immediately after you graduated 

A week before graduation day I found out I had been successful in an interview I had attended for a third sector post. I started this post about a month after graduating which was way quicker than I expected to find something.

Are you currently working? If so please give a brief outline of your job. If not, what are your plans?

Yes, I am currently working in a third sector organisation in Edinburgh developing a Men's Shed group aimed at supporting veterans. The post is only part time so I have also kept on my part time retail job I had while at uni. The job is something I am interested in and giving me loads of great and varied experiences so this situation works well for personal circumstances at present.

 

Story published 2016-2017

Would you consider further study?

I would potentially consider further study, most likely if I felt it would enhance my knowledge or understanding of a particular area of practice I was working in. At the moment this isn't my priority though. I am quite happy learning through practice.