Rumbi came to Queen Margaret for a little taste of life in Scotland. She got that and so much more out of her BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography course. Today, she tells us about her student experience at QMU and what she has planned after graduation!
Why did you choose to study at Queen Margaret University?
I wanted a small university, one that would make it easy for me to feel like I belonged. The location was ideal for me as well because the campus is close to Edinburgh but also distant enough from all the inconveniences of being right the city centre.
What interested you about your chosen course?
A very dynamic career with different areas to specialise in. I have always worked in care, but I did not really enjoy fostering long-term relationships with the people I cared for. With diagnostic radiography I learned that I could provide care, make a difference to someone’s care experience, and move on to the next.
What attracted you to study in Edinburgh?
The structure of the city, plus I have always wanted to move to Scotland. However, I had no family or friends in Scotland, so I hoped studying in Edinburgh would give me a feel of what life here would be like before moving my whole life from Birmingham long-term.
What have you most enjoyed about your course?
I enjoy how diverse my course is, most importantly moving across Scotland during placement. I enjoy seeing how different radiography boards work and meeting new people.
Have you participated in a course activity you found especially interesting?
During my first year, we had a module called Introduction to the Human Body. In this module we learned a lot about human anatomy from skeletal, muscular and the nervous system to list a few.
"Towards the end of the module a few weeks before exams, we planned a trip to Surgeons' Hall in Edinburgh as a class which was very interesting. The whole experience felt like firsthand learning, and it enhanced my interests and motivation not only in the human anatomy, but health care as a whole and how so much as has changed in patient care and the healthcare profession."
We also had a module called Interprofessional Education, Teams and Teamworking. This module centred around the ethics of working within a multidisciplinary team as this is often the case in healthcare. Radiographers often work with nurses, doctors, porters to list a few and it is important as students that we prepare for that.
Another highlight, was winning the baking competition that was organised amongst Diagnostic and Therapeutic Radiography, Paramedic Science and Podiatry students. Individuals from each course would bake something and bring it to university. Anything baked with the best scores in taste and presentation won. This was to foster a sense of team playing. Winning this trophy for my course was really nice!
How have your lecturers supported your learning?
My lecturers identified what I was lacking before I even knew it myself. They accepted my need for individual learning plans that helped me perform to the best of my ability.
What have been some of your challenges with the course and university life? How have you overcome them?
The financing of student life has been a challenge, and prospective students should be prepared for that. I found managing my living costs tricky, especially when I was out on placement for a few weeks. I recommend that new students do some research into the living costs and the expenses they will have and familiarise themselves with the different funds and scholarships available.
I also struggled with feeling lonely for a while, so I would encourage everyone to join clubs and societies and put yourself forward for the various opportunities the uni provides in order to foster friendships. If something does not feel right with your learning, do not hesitate to speak to your PAT (Personal Academic Tutor) or Student Services. Staff are there to support you through your time at QMU.
Have you taken part in a placement as part of your course and if so, what was your experience?
Yes, and it was a really good experience as the supervisors on placement were on the same page with the university in terms of what students needed to learn and get out of our placement.
Do you have any advice for students who might be interested in applying for this course?
It is a hard and challenging course. You will need be focused and determined but if I can do it, you can do it too!
Have you been a part of any extracurricular programmes during your time as a student at QMU? If so, how has it helped you develop skills and experience?
I joined the “My place project” with Rocktrust organization. Through the East Lothian Council, a few homes are provided for young people leaving care to experience what it is like to have their own tenancy in shared accommodation. Mentors such as myself volunteer to live in shared properties with 2 young persons and support them during the transition up until they get their own flats. I have been volunteering for 4 years now. This has taught me patience, how to work with people who have experienced trauma, working with a multidisciplinary team of social workers, housing officers, the council and even the police. I have learned to give without expecting anything in return.
What QMU student services have you used to support you through your university journey and how have they helped you?
During Covid I did join the Wellbeing Service's programs for wellness. I'm not sure why I stopped, they were helpful! I also use the Effective Learning Services a lot for my essays and have attended the sessions on time keeping, exam studying, effective essay writing, etc. The library staff are amazing too, always helpful.
Are you a member of any clubs or societies at QMU? If so, what was the reason you joined and what do you enjoy most about it?
I joined the Afro Caribbean society which was about the representation of ethnic minority students. It was quite good to hang around as minority students and exchange tips on how to navigate university life.
What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?
"Always ask for help. Even if you feel like it does not relate to your academic life. The university cares for your overall wellbeing and there is always someone that can help you."
What has been the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned at university?
It takes a village to raise a child. My university life has not just centered around my lectures and placements. Callum Maguire (Head of Widening Participation & Outreach) is one of the people who has had some of the most positive impact on my life. Julie MacRitchie (Disability Adviser) has always made sure I had all the extra support I needed. The Therapeutic Radiography lecturers Liz and David were always available for me, and my diagnostic radiography program supervisor Catherine identified what I needed and who I was as student before I even knew it myself. I am grateful to them for being patient with me and believing in my journey.
What are you plans after graduation? Tell us about your ambitions and where you see yourself in the future?
The plan so far is to be a clinical radiographer and work for the NHS. Working for the NHS is part of my overall career plan as I take it as an opportunity to give back to the community. I am well aware of the pressures and struggles within the NHS task force, but I am determined to do my utmost best. However, I would like to be an educator eventually. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would want to be an educator but when I look back from college all through to university there have been some really amazing people who have supported and cheered me on academically and I would like to make such an impact on someone else's life.