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September 2019

Molly stands against a white background in her paramedic uniform, smiling at the camera.

Molly Smith

Paramedic Science 2017

1. Tell us about yourself
I'm 23 years old, and was born and brought up in North Wales. I've always had a passion for all things medical, and for caring for people which is why I decided I wanted to become a Paramedic, and chose to study the Paramedic Science course at ARU. I moved to Cambridge in 2014 to begin studying and graduated in 2017. Since then I have been working my dream job as a Paramedic in Cambridge for the East of England Ambulance Service. During my final year of study, the College of Paramedics awarded me a national award for the student of the year for my involvement in setting up a buddy support system for my peers at ARU and my dedication to my studies.

2.  What is your fondest memory at Anglia Ruskin University?
My fondest memory of ARU is the first day of my course. We played an icebreaker game where we stood in a circle, introduced ourselves as a medical condition and then repeated everyone else who had gone before us. It was lots of fun and had us all in fits of laughter with people forgetting each other’s medical conditions and others choosing more out there ones like “sex addict”. For the first few days we would refer to each other as the medical condition as these were easier to remember than people's names. Being only a small cohort, we all bonded during that game and made strong friendships that are still ongoing today. I can still remember everyone’s medical conditions when I think about it now.

3.  What has been your favourite job? 
Working as a front-line ambulance paramedic responding to 999 calls. 

4.  In one word, how would you describe ARU?

5.  How did your time at Anglia Ruskin help you? 
My time at ARU not only gave me the necessary qualification to become a registered paramedic, it gave me the skills and passion for my subject that has inspired me to continue my learning. ARU helped me to grow as a person and become more confident and outgoing, which has allowed me to try new things and push myself to achieve my dreams. Moving so far away from my family initially terrified me but I quickly realised everyone else around me felt the same and as I made friends, I began to feel at home as we were able to become each other’s support network sharing in each other’s success and encouraging each other when things didn’t go so well. Meeting new people and making new friends encouraged me to try out new activities and societies that they enjoyed which I wouldn’t have had the confidence to try by myself. Now I try to take every opportunity that comes my way no matter how out of my comfort zone it is as you never know what great things it could lead to.

6.  What did you love about your chosen course?
The placement element. The course was 50% theory and 50% hands on learning on the job from the very beginning. We had placements working on the ambulances, in A+E departments, in operation theatres and maternity units. Working on placement really sparked my passion for learning and motivated me to write essays and do research as I wanted to know everything I could about the patients I was caring for.

7.  What advice would you give to current students as they're preparing to graduate? 

As one door closes as you graduate, endless doors are opening with a multitude of opportunities; ensure you embrace those opportunities as you never know where they may take you in life. This is just the start of your journey; it’s time to use all the skills you’ve worked hard to achieve.  

8.  What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst studying?

Nothing worth having in life comes easy. Had I known of the support services offered by ARU earlier in my course and being able to utilise them fully, I believe it would have benefited me tremendously and made studying and learning a lot easier.

9.  Who was the biggest influence on your career?
My mum. She shared my interest in all things medical, watching documentaries about healthcare professionals with me and encouraging me to learn first aid and CPR when I was younger which sparked my dream to become a paramedic. She has been a constant support taking me to university open-days and interviews and helping me move the 200 miles from our home in Wales to Cambridge to study at ARU. She always encourages me to be the best I can be throughout my studies and my life.

10.  What advice would you give to your younger self?
Time is a precious resource, use it wisely. Get out of your comfort zone, it could lead to good things.

11.  Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
I love music. I can play the clarinet, piano and the cornet.

12.  What’s next?
I'm due to start a Master's course in Advanced Professional Practice at the University of Anglia soon!