Sarah Finucane

Podiatry BSc (Hons)

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  • Course studied: Podiatry
  • Year of study: First year
  • Length of course: Three years

Your university/career journey

Why did you decide to study at the University of Northampton?

It is only a one-hour drive from North London. I already had a friend studying the Podiatry degree and she was telling me all about it, how wonderful it was, and it was the best things she ever did! I visited the University, the town, the hospital, and the School of Podiatry, and I really like the place. I have a great interest in Victorian and 1920/1930s styles of architecture and Northampton has a plethora of buildings for me to explore in my spare time when not studying.  The University is brand new, all the facilities are first class, that makes it a very attractive place to learn.

What are your career goals/aspirations?

Podiatry for me is a mid-life career change.  I have already had a successful career in publishing and marketing. I plan once qualified to open my own foot clinic, but also work part-time in the NHS.

How do you think your studies will help your career or personal development when you graduate?

My studies are vital to give me the knowledge and expertise required to work in both private practice and the NHS.

Which, if any, skills and knowledge/understanding gained on your degree do you feel will be most useful in your future career?

Studying feet to degree level, having the time over three years to fully immerse myself in everything to do with feet – everything I am able to learn, will be useful in my future career. It is difficult to pull out certain skills or areas of knowledge, as this is just the first year, and so far, everything is interesting and useful.

Your Placement

Have you completed a placement? Please detail where this was, the role and an outline of your duties?

No not yet, however, before I started the degree, I had studied in 2020/21 and I have a Diploma in Foot Health. This allows me to work as a Foot Health Practitioner, so I have worked for a year in both a private Foot Clinic and Domiciliary, treating patients for their foot care needs. I have also completed 3 days of shadowing of my local Podiatry NHS in North London.  I am really looking forward to placement at the end of the first year.

How do you think the placement will help you with gaining employment after graduating?

Not had placement yet, but I can know that placement will be excellent to get an idea of the systems involved with working in the NHS. It will also offer a wide scope of the types of foot pathologies you might like to work in. Future employers would like to see what experience you have had during in clinic setting. As I am not new to the world of work, I already have a high level of personal professionalism, working alone and as part of a team. I am also used to working with in a customer facing role.

Extra-curricular activities

What extra-curricular activities do you participate in whilst studying?

I have been volunteering and was involved in community groups all my teenage and adult life, I am involved in a charity in London for a long time, that aims to combat social isolation for older people living alone. I am here at UON as a mature student, I have volunteered to help on open days at the University, and I am active in the Podiatry Society. However, I have decided to use my spare time as volunteer at Northampton General Hospital.

How do you think these extra-curricular activities will enhance your career prospects?

While these extra-curricular activities may enhance my career prospects, that is not my motivation. However, for undergraduates that have not been involved in volunteering before, it is an excellent opportunity put things learnt at school and University so far into practice.  A great way to meet new people and of different generations and hear their stories. Plus, make a difference in your local community. Future employers will be attracted to a candidate with a wide range of volunteering and extra-curricular activities.

Are you currently involved in any community or volunteering projects? If yes please give some details.

Locally to Northampton I am involved in two community projects. Northampton Cathedral run a group called ‘The Good Shepherd’, a place to meet for conversation and friendship for older people, I am able to attend monthly and join in some conversations.

I am also involved on a monthly basis with Carers in Bedfordshire, an organisation that provides support for those who care for family members.  Once a month I run a pop-up foot health clinic, where I treat 7 patients each time.

Your advice

In one sentence, what advice would you give to undergraduates interested in this career path or anything you wish you had known earlier?

The world needs more Podiatrists.  As soon as you qualify, there are jobs waiting!

In ten words, or less how would you summarise your UON experience?

For me, as a mature student, here at University of Northampton, I am living my dream.