By: 29 February 2024
Midwife rewrites her script to teach next generation of caregivers

A midwife and lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has shared her journey into academia in the hope of encouraging other young adults to pursue their passions.

Emily Winup was just 23 when she decided to leave her career in the film industry as a script and continuity supervisor, and apply her attention to detail, care, consideration and people skills to another profession. In 2014, she successfully applied for a place to study midwifery at ARU and since then has never looked back.

“I was really nervous”, Emily recalled. “When I told my family that I had decided to pursue midwifery, they were stunned and thought I was going through a very early midlife crisis! I explained to them my passion for healthcare and the desire to leave my current job, and I think after a while, they realised that my wish to study was much more than a phase. They were very supportive and that helped me to be confident that I was making the right decision.”

In September of 2014, Emily began her studies at ARU’s Chelmsford campus. This allowed her to study while living close to home, giving her additional financial stability and the opportunity to remain near to her friends and family.

Taking on a completely new degree course can be daunting, but Emily knew she had made the right decision the minute that her studies began.

“I remember the first time I walked into a birthing room as a student and feeling very nervous about the entire situation. I knew in theory what was about to happen, but nothing prepared for how amazing childbirth is outside of the classroom. Despite feeling scared, I remember thinking that there was nothing else that I’d rather do. Even in lectures, I felt as if everything just clicked, and I wanted to absorb every bit of knowledge that was being told to me. After just one year of my studies, I knew that midwifery was definitely a career I wanted to pursue, and I was so happy that I had taken that initial leap.”

When Emily’s studies concluded, she began working at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow. This included tackling challenging situations during the pandemic, but despite the complex environment, the love of her new career kept Emily going.

However, in 2021, Emily once again felt the urge to return to university, but this time as a teacher; a passion she had picked up while working on the wards.

“I became known at my hospital as the person who was keen to work with students and teach them how to become amazing midwives. I soon realised that teaching and mentoring was something that really motivated me. Despite not really thinking about lecturing, my old tutor told me about an opening at ARU in Chelmsford. I only had about three and a half years on the ward, so I was young to be going for a lecturer position, but I got a call that I had been accepted and I was absolutely delighted.”

Since returning to the university that helped her to embrace a whole new career, Emily has been using her experience in hospital to train the next generation of midwives. Now teaching at the campus she originally graduated from, Emily is now a keen advocate for both midwifery and ARU, the Times Higher Education University of the Year, and wants to use her story to inspire people who may have never considered higher education as a viable option.

“It’s never too late for someone to think about changing their career path and pursuing their passions. We see many people who initially doubt their abilities, including many mature students, but go on to excel in higher education and become excellent midwives. Midwives come from all backgrounds and have a range of skills, so I would encourage anyone who is interested in the profession to really explore it and see if it could work for them.”

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