March 14, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
For me, writing my midwifery personal statement was the most stressful part of the application process. Just knowing that selectors will have read thousands of them really piled on the pressure for mine to stand out. I found that its very hard to do this without sounding like an idiot! You have to be subtle in making your statement one to remember. I was on my gap-year when writing mine so I didn’t have much help other than a few friends giving suggestions. But if you are still in college there is normally a lot of help out there for you. Tutors are normally great with these things, and some colleges have a UCAS representative or advisor who will look through your statement with you and give advice. Another option is to speak to a connections advisor, who are really good at knowing what makes a good P/S. Of course, all of it has to be written by you and you alone, if not you can get into trouble! At the end of the day you want to give across your personality, not anyone else’s.
I was fortunate enough to know a few practising midwives who gave me some pointers with my P/S and interview prior to doing them. I had a very helpful phone call with the senior lecturer of Midwifery at Plymouth, and also spoke to some of those in charge of admissions at Cardiff when I attended their Open Day. They all seemed very clear on what they did and didn’t want to read in personal statements. The fact that everyone I spoke to said exactly the same thing gave across a very clear message of what interests them, and what will make them throw away a personal statement. I found this really helpful when writing mine, as some of these mistakes are really easy to make. When they receive up to 900 applicants a year for their course, they know how to whittle them down and sadly, a lot of the time it is the things most of us say that we don’t fully think through.
What they want to hear:
One more thing, make sure everything you write in your P/S is true. If they decide they like the sound of you and invite you for interview, they will have read through your statement many times and will also have it in front of them when they ask you questions. If something you say at interview contradicts what you have written in your P/S, they will know that something isn’t right. What I did for mine was take with me evidence of what I have written in my statement. I said in mine that I am going to participate in a midwifery internship in Tanzania, but I still haven’t completed this yet as it’s in the July before I start the course. So I brought with me my acceptance letter from the organisation I’m going with, confirming my placement in the hospital out there. Anything you can bring to prove yourself is helpful. They may not even ask to see it, but if you give the evidence for them to look at when speaking about it in your interview it will show them that you are very prepared and organised. The selectors and senior lecturers at my selection day were all very clear when they said they do not want dishonest people on their course, and any evidence of you giving false information will lead to immediate withdrawal of the application process, even if you’ve gotten as far as interview. So don’t take the risk!
I hope this was helpful for those of you writing your Personal Statement!
I’ve grown up in Devon, now waiting to start a Midwifery Degree in London.. I’m 18 years old, and currently working as a carer in a residential home until September when Uni begins! Writing this blog to give aspiring midwives insight into the course and the profession, and also to give advice on the tough application process. Enjoy! A x
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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.