BIS Alumni – Julia Corciulo
On this edition we featured our Alumni from class 2012, Julia Corciulo. Her journey in the medical field all the way from New Zealand to the UK. We would love to hear her point of view working in one of the toughest and challenging yet the most rewarding career as paramedics.
- A brief description of your career; current occupation, title, and company?
I am a Paramedic for London Ambulance Service. I work in an Ambulance, responding to 999 emergency calls, working with a crewmate to assess and treat a wide range of patients. Sometimes we treat people with traumatic emergencies, while other times we treat those with acute medical problems. We work on a 12 hour shifts, and during this time we share the load, half of the shift one of us will tend to the patients, and the other will drive.
- Tell us more about your career?
I gained my BHSc in Paramedicine from AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand. During this time I trained with St. John Ambulance Service for 3 years, I also worked part time as an Orderly at North Shore Hospital. After graduating with my BHSc i worked as a Paramedic for a private ambulance service in Auckland, after a year I moved to London. I now have worked with London Ambulance for 2 years.
- What led you to work as a Paramedic for London Ambulance Service?
I have always had a passion for science, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. So after graduating from BIS I moved to New Zealand to study at Otago University. I enrolled in a 1 year Health Science course which is a foundation in basic medical science, from there I decided to keep pursuing health sciences path. I gained acceptance into both nursing and paramedicine courses, I liked the idea of working on the road instead of in a hospital, so I chose paramedicine. I have also always wanted to live in London, so when the opportunity came up I applied straight away.
- What are some of the challenges that you have faced in your line of work and how did you overcome them?
I faced a lot of challenges during my training years in university, on top of studying the materials, I had to do a lot of unpaid work as a part of the course. It was very tiring most days, and I still had to work part time to cover my living costs. It wasn’t until after I started working in London that I truly enjoyed being a paramedic, but I wouldn’t have been able to do this if I didn’t persevere and finish the degree. I kept my mind on the goal – to graduate with a degree and work as a paramedic. In the end I made it and it was so worth the hard work.
At work I face a lot of challenges everyday, no one day is the same when you’re in an ambulance. One day you can be resuscitating someone or delivering a baby, the next you can be helping an elderly person who has fallen out of bed. You always have to think on your feet and adapt to the situation, it can be very challenging but I always make sure my knowledge is up to date by reading articles or studying in my own time, and keeping up my physical and mental health through exercise and managing a good diet.
- How do you keep yourself motivated in your profession?
I know that everyday I go to work I will help someone, even though often it may not be an emergency. I know that if I don’t show up to work that’s one less ambulance on the road, and that could be the difference between life and death for someone!
- Do you have any advice for BIS students who would like to pursue a career in the medical field?
If you’re not sure which pathway you want to go in (be it nursing, pharmacy, or medical), doing Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) is a really good starting point. Many universities offer this course as a prerequisite for med-school. It is okay to feel incapable or change your mind later on, but make sure you persist and finish what you start, it will pay off in the end. Working in the medical field can be physically and mentally demanding, but it is very rewarding as well. If you are passionate about helping others and want to be in a job where you have to constantly use your brain, medicine may be the path for you!
- What are some of your favorite memories of your time at BIS?
I loved participating in all sports and conferences, such as BSSA, IISSAC and GIN. I developed so many of my values through discussing global issues and meeting people at these events. I also loved being involved in CAS, it gives you so much experience that other schools don’t offer and will definitely give you an edge once you graduate.
- What was the most important lesson you learned from your time in school?
To question everything you know and to keep learning as much as you can, be it formal education or by acquiring knowledge in your own creative way. Persistence and an inquisitive mind will take you far in this world.