Meet Emma, a school leaver now training as a midwife


Applying for a midwifery course at University can be daunting.

And when you are coming straight from school you may feel that there are aspects such as age or life experience that may put you at a disadvantage.

We interviewed Emma, a school leaver who is currently on her 1st placement as a student midwife, she is 19 years old and is going to share her experience of applying for midwifery:

  • What made you want to be a midwife?

    I always knew that I wanted to be in a caring profession, but knew that I didn’t want to be a nurse. It wasn’t that I had a calling for being a midwife, I was just intrigued and so decided to apply.

  • What did you study that prepare you for applying for university?

    I studied biology, psychology and sociology, I ended up getting an A and two B’s. Getting the qualifications needed was difficult, some universities wanted higher grades than others. I think those choices were a good beginning for preparing me for university.

  • What was the interview process like?

    This was the first time I had been through an interview process, it was daunting and I tried to prepare myself with practice questions, but it was still scary. I had a group discussion and individual interview. I knew I was quiet during the group session and there were some really strong characters, but my individual interview went really well.

  • What did you feel when you were offered a place?

    I was really surprised, initially I wasn’t offered a place, but I went through clearing so I was over-the-moon to be offered a place.

  • What is it like actually being a student midwife?

    I don’t think I was prepared for what’s it like to work shifts and study at the same time. I think it would have been good to get some experience while I was at school working shifts as I do get really tired, especially with night shifts. I have really enjoyed being hands on so early into the course and so far I am really enjoying it.

  • What has been a highlight so far?

    The first time I saw a baby being born was such an incredible experience and something I will never forget.

  • What advice would you give someone who wants to studying midwifery straight from school?

    I would say, go for it!There is no reason to wait. I think getting some experience with shift work or as a support worker is helpful as those on the course that have had experience seem to be more confident. You get so much support from uni, your mentors and everyone in your cohort, it was the best decision I made.

Emma’s Best Advice

  • Read as much as you can before you go for your interview as you will have more to talk about
  • It is like learning a different language, but nobody expects you to arrive knowing everything and there is a lot of support to help you
  • Make sure you get help proof reading your personal statement, some of my friends missed out being offered an interview because their personal statement wasn’t strong enough
  • Midwifery is not about cuddling babies, you have to be able to talk to women from all different backgrounds, so you need to be able to hold a conversation and have a sense of humour
  • Knowing how to make the midwives a cup of tea or coffee is important (they drink a lot!)
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Hannah Vallance

Hannah is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist specialising in recruitment, selection and assessment. This means she designs and assesses at selection days just like the ones used for Midwifes, which is pretty handy experience for Midwife Career!

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