For Anuja Jacob, graduating was the culmination of six years of hard work juggling studies with having two children.
Anuja originally joined the University in 2016 on the Adult Nursing programme but during the end of her first year switched to Mental Health Nursing.
Early in her studies, she and her now husband got married in India and came to live in Worcestershire.
“I remember in those early days my husband had to drive me to placements at all hours because I did not drive,” she said. “I then fell pregnant with my first child and so I had to take a period of maternity leave and pause my studies.”
Anuja returned to her studies when her son was six months old and not long after, the global Covid-19 pandemic struck.
“I was just getting back into study when the pandemic hit and I also found out I was pregnant again,” she said. “The pandemic made everything so much more difficult. But the University were very supportive. Sincere gratitude to Dave Robson, my Personal Academic Tutor, and Jo Rouse, my Independent Study Supervisor, and all other tutors and mentors.”
A year after her son was born, Anuja gave birth to her second child, a daughter and took a further period of maternity leave.
“This time I just took three months,” she said. “My husband supported me a lot doing all of the childcare and looking after the home and gave me the motivation to complete the studies. To be honest, there were times when I thought about giving up but after having children my confidence increased and I was able to cope with challenging situations during placements.”
Anuja, who is expecting her third child, is now working as a Mental Health Nurse at the Cygnet St Augustine’s Hospital in Stoke on Trent.
“It took me a long time, but I am so glad to now be working as a nurse,” she said. On her Graduation day, Anuja stated: “I really love it. And I am really looking forward to graduating with my husband and children there. Above all, I thank God for guiding me through this journey.”