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CQUni knows Jake

Get to know Jake

My name is Jake Shepherd and I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Paramedic Science by distance education at CQUniversity.

In year 12 I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do but I wanted it to be something exciting in the health area. Then, at the end of the year I fell ill and had to be treated by paramedics. The amazing care I received helped me decide what I wanted to do – I wanted to be a paramedic.

I think paramedic science is a good fit for me. I feel like I’m a caring person. I enjoy helping people. I’m not scared of blood. So I enjoy being able to give something back.

When I was deciding where to go to uni I knew I didn’t want to move. I grew up in Atherton, which is an hour away from Cairns. That’s where all my family is. I wanted to be able to stay home, stay near my family and CQUniversity gave me that opportunity.

CQUniversity also offered flexibility. I’ve always been an independent person and I wanted to support myself, so I wanted to continue to work full time. With CQUniversity I was able to study online via distance education part time. That has allowed me to continue to work full time and support myself while still being able to follow my dream of becoming a paramedic.

Because I lived in a rural area I’ve had the amazing opportunity to volunteer for Queensland Ambulance Service. I have seen a lot of stuff – a lot of traumatic stuff. But the university helps you prepare for that. They educate you on the procedures that you need to take and they offer psychologists if you need to speak to people. So you get amazing support from the university.

The lecturers have also been amazing throughout my degree. I can really rely on them to support me. They’ve all been paramedics. Being able to hear their stories and knowing that they’ve actually been where we want to be makes it much more inspirational hearing from them. And they’re willing to give their all to help you. You send an email and you get an email back straight away. Or, if you’re really struggling they’ll make a time for you to be able to sit down and speak with them.

I tell everyone CQUniversity is the best university. It’s because you don’t get lost in the crowd. You’re not sitting in a lecture hall with thousands of students around you and where the lecturer doesn’t know your name. You might be in a class of 10 people and they’re the people you rely on to get you through your degree. I think that’s what makes CQUniversity stand above the rest. It actually cares about its students.

And me? I’m looking forward to putting my years at university into practice. It is an exciting career. Being able to actually use the skills and help people. I can’t wait!