Mother of six pursues dream career in midwifery
Marama Hill with her six children, mother and husband.
Marama Hill always dreamed of being a midwife, and now, thanks to completing the Wintec Te Ara Pūtake Academic Pathway course, her dream will become a reality next month.
The mum of six has worn many hats over the years, she is a qualified chef by trade, but the long hours and late nights of hospitality were too strenuous on her family. So she retired as a chef and started working as an early childhood teacher. But now that the time is right, and her children are older, she is returning to study midwifery – her lifelong dream.
Based in Rotorua, Marama travelled to Hamilton four days a week to study the Te Ara Pūtake course at Wintec in 2018.
The Wintec Te Ara Pūtake Academic Pathway is perfect for those who want to take the leap into study but don’t have the confidence, or just want to brush up on some skills. The 18-week course teaches students the essential academic knowledge, capabilities and skills needed to succeed at higher levels of study within their chosen field.
Students choose from four pathways that align with where they want their career to progress: Health, Social Practice, Media Arts or the Open pathway for more general subjects and skills.
“I enrolled in the Health pathway because I wanted to ensure I had the skills and knowledge to complete the Bachelor of Midwifery. Since I had been out of school for so long and so much has changed, I felt a bit rusty,” explains Marama.
“After completing Te Ara Pūtake, I now feel confident to walk into my degree and know what I have to do.
“I learnt many new skills I will be able to apply when studying the Bachelor of Midwifery, but the biggest thing I learnt was how to APA reference correctly, the art of essay writing, and the importance of reflection journals,” she says.
Marama explains Wintec offers an awesome option of whānau based delivery for Māori and Pasifika students in the Health pathway called, Te Tūāpapa Hauora.
“In a sense when Māori and Pasifika people walk around, they’re not just worried about themselves, they always have their family in mind too. The way we learn is more hands on and the Te Tūāpapa Hauora stream has a more holistic view that encompasses that. I enjoyed being part of this stream.”
This whānau-based stream is underpinned by Māori and Pasifika principles. Since beginning this stream in 2013 the completion rates of Māori and Pasifika students in this programme have significantly improved.
Marama said her tutors were awesome and adapted teaching strategies to suit student needs.
“My tutors provided so much help, I don’t think I could’ve passed the course without them. From the start they introduced us to the additional services Wintec offers – whether you need help with your papers or coping with your personal life, there are support services for everyone.
“For example, my science tutor, Gina Nicholas, helped us prepare for exams. Science was a new language to many of us, so she asked Rachel from the Student Learning Services to teach us how to answer multi choice questions and create flashcards for exam preparation. She also shared some tips on coping with the stress of exams.
“The amount of support Wintec provided us with was amazing. My honest belief is that everyone can achieve through Wintec – there really is no excuse – you just have to utilise the help that is available to you,” says Marama.
Marama’s tutors thought she was pretty awesome too with Kitt Foreman, Team Manager, Centre for Education & Foundation Pathways describing her as an “amazing student who was diligent and ready to learn each and every day”.
Now that Marama has been accepted into the Midwifery course, she will study at one of Wintec’s regional hubs in Rotorua in February.
“I want to study at the hub in Rotorua, so I can get my placements in Rotorua too. However, I was worried that the hubs would be long distant learning on a computer, and I personally don’t learn well that way. I thrive in a classroom environment, so I wanted to ensure that a lecturer would be present,” she says.
“A student advisor organised a meet and greet with a lecturer, so that I could learn more about the hub experience, and I was assured that it would be a hands on, face-to-face learning experience. That’s why I went for it – otherwise I would have travelled to Hamilton again.”
Marama has thoroughly enjoyed returning to study as a mature student. She never thought of herself as a good learner, but now with hard work she knows she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without my amazing support system at home – both my mother and husband helped out with the kids while I was busy studying. Ensuring you have a good support system in place is vital to your success,” says Marama.
Find out more about Wintec’s Te Ara Pūtake: My Academic Pathway.