CQUni knows Hayley

Get to know Hayley

Hayley Van Den Berg
Skills For Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS), Bachelor of Podiatry Practice (Honours)

I’ve done a lot of things in my life. I started out studying nursing a long time ago but it just didn’t suit and I ended up dropping out. In the meantime, I studied beauty therapy and had a few kids but podiatry has always been in the back of my mind. It’s more one-on-one and, like nursing, I still get to help people.

As a mother to a nine-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son, I’m hoping to show them that it doesn’t matter how old you are. If there’s something you want to do it’s never too late to do it. It’d been about 10 years since I finished high school so getting back into study was daunting. It’d been so long that I’d forgotten how to write an essay! Enrolling in the STEPS program made such a big difference to starting back at university. It ensured that I wasn’t overwhelmed by anything because I was given that foundation I needed to write essays and reports. It was so helpful. I’d definitely recommend it to anybody about to start studying again.

I had the opportunity to study externally while living in Sydney but I prefer studying on campus, it means you’ve got your teachers right there. I feel like I get more out of it because at home I get distracted so I need to be in class listening to a teacher.

The teachers at CQUni genuinely want you to do well, they give you all the resources you need up-front and tell you everything you need to know. When something is due you never have to go looking for further information; they’ve already given it to you. And if you do have a question, well they say ‘no question’s a stupid question’ and they’re always there if you need.

Podiatry is such a hands-on degree, the first year has been a lot of theory work but next year we’ll be starting in the clinic and I’m really excited about just getting in there and getting started. As you can see, I’m a very hands-on person!

There’s a lot more to the degree than I realised, it’s related to the whole lower half of the body – not just your feet. It’s the way you walk, what shoes you wear, how you sit and what you eat. I didn’t know that before. Everyone’s always on their feet and using them, and especially these days with diabetes people with bad feet is a huge issue. I’ve got weird shaped feet so maybe that’s what it is! I can never find shoes that fit me right. Maybe that’s why I’m becoming a podiatrist – so I can finally find the perfect pair of shoes!

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