Blog: Rowena Smith, 2020 Higher Education Student of the Year

Congratulations to Rowena Smith, our 2020 Higher Education Student of the Year! Rowena joined the BSc (Hons) Integrative Healthcare programme directly into third year in 2018-19, eight years after completing her HND in Complementary Therapies. Rowena believes each experience she has had has led her to where she is now and has worked hard to achieve a first-class honours degree!

Congratulations, Rowena!

Thank you! I was delighted to be considered for this award, let alone go on to win! Although completely unexpected, it validates the time, effort and focus that was required for me to complete my degree, to do so during such uncertainty and whilst starting a challenging new job in the NHS.

Why did you choose to study at Moray College UHI?

I chose to study here because it was the only university in Scotland that offered a degree in integrative healthcare and it was a natural progression and development from the HND in Complementary Therapies I studied eight years ago.

I was given the opportunity to study this course distance learning which was another major factor in my decision to apply. As I live in Edinburgh, I wouldn’t have been able to do this otherwise. It provided a flexible approach to study and it allowed me to continue in employment at the same time.

How did you find the support you received from your tutors and lecturers?

The support and information that has been provided from lecturers throughout has been exactly what I would have expected and hoped for. With or without lockdown, distance learning requires you - the learner - to take responsibility for your learning, to be proactive in asking questions and following up with things you’re unsure about.

What have been the highlights of studying at Moray College UHI?

My favourite thing about studying at Moray College UHI has been the people I have met throughout my studies. Although this course has been run distance learning, we have met for bi-annual residential weeks which has allowed me to meet with peers, share practices, attend practical learning sessions and seminars, and Q&As with lecturers. This has provided a community of support within an environment that can sometimes feel a little bit isolating. It’s also developed my relationships with fellow students experiencing a similar thing, but also staff; the leaders in integrative healthcare. I am so grateful and will hold fond memories of my time studying here.

Where would you like to go with your career in the future?

In the future I’m looking forward to reflecting on what I have achieved during such unprecedented times. I will aim to approach similar challenging and unexpected experiences with the same strength, determination and hopefully with a smile on my face! This course provided me with the support and the confidence to apply for - and be successful for - a job within the NHS. Although I don’t know where this path will take me, I do believe that it has set me up with an interesting and exciting career ahead of me.

We can’t wait to see where Rowena’s determination will take her and wish her the best of luck in her exciting new future!

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