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Jade-Marie Symonds

BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science student


Jade-Marie Symonds

I previously studied graphic design in 2013 but left after the first year as I realised it wasn’t the career I wanted. In the meantime, I worked in healthcare whilst I figured out what I wanted to do, firstly as a healthcare assistant at Ipswich hospital for two years and then as a venapuncturist for NHS blood and transplant for two years. I had always wanted to study to be a paramedic but never knew how to go about it. It was my colleague at the blood service who pushed me to look into it.

Applying through clearing was so easy! I originally applied for Nursing as I didn’t realise the University of Suffolk did Paramedic Science as I didn’t enquire properly (oops!) The application was easy to fill out and I heard back three days after submitting, offering me an interview. During those three days I researched more into Paramedic Science and realised the University had the course! I phoned the University straight away and asked them to transfer my application if possible.

Luckily, or as fate would have it, my application was transferred and I received a phone call the same day asking why I wanted to become a paramedic instead of a nurse. I explained my passion for caring for others, my desire to continually grow my knowledge and the excitement of a challenge and knowing no two days will be the same. I had my interview a week or two later and was offered a place the same day! 

Going back to university was a big thing for me as I was 24 at the time of applying. I felt an array of emotions but I was so excited to be starting a path to my dream career! 

The thing I love most about studying Paramedic Science are the people that I learn with my cohort, 02/18. I’ve been so lucky to meet these amazing people and have made some life long friends, I’m sure! I lost my Nanny shortly after starting the course and I wouldn’t have gotten through it without them. The support we give each other is incredible, we’re always in contact regardless of whether we’re on placement (where we might not see each other for months) in classes together and socialising together. I feel that the course caters for all kinds of learning styles, which is great for me as I learn best by doing, and if there’s anything someone doesn’t understand, there’s always someone in the cohort willing to help. 

I love being able to study at the University of Suffolk to be close to my family, friends and partner. I’m a homing pigeon! I couldn’t be away from any of them, a bonus is that I only live up the road too, so i often walk to uni and living at home saves me money! 

A few tips for new students: Be yourself. University is such a diverse place you can be exactly who you are with no judgements. 

Be prepared, university is hard work but you get out what you put in! There are so many resources available to help those who feel they struggle academically. Don’t let essays put you off! 

Lastly, always make time for yourself! It can be tough trying to juggle university with work, family and a social life, but it’s important to remember to take time out for yourself to unwind and relax.