Thousands of DMU students graduated in July after years of hard work. We reported some of their stories in our Class of 2015 series...
Although at one stage in her life she wanted to be a physiotherapist, taking her grandfather for a hearing test at the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) set Devangi Bhatt off down a different career path.
Inspired by what she’d seen, she reconsidered her options and three years later she will be graduating with a First-Class degree in Healthcare Science Audiology BSc (Hons) from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Two days after the graduation ceremony she is heading off to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, to start her new career as an audiologist. She will be working with children and adults who suffer from hearing loss, or have problems with tinnitus or balance. It will be the first time she’s lived away from home and she said: “I’m very excited, but it’s kind of scary too! I’m looking forward to getting started, it’s hugely rewarding work.”
Devangi first visited DMU on an open day while a pupil at City of Leicester College and said she chose the university because it had a good reputation and it meant she could stay with her family: “Lots of my friends came here, too. It felt right. It felt like home.”
Her time here prepared her well for the world of work. In her first year she had a two-week placement at Ropewalk House, part of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, and during her third and final year she had a 40-week placement at the LRI.
The work experience was all organised through the university and Devangi said: “It was the real deal. We were treating patients and putting the theory into practise.”
Devangi also got involved in DMU’s award-winning Square Mile programme, helping out in the Leicester community to highlight hearing issues during a variety of initiatives such as Deaf Awareness Week: “Schemes like this make a big difference. There are loads of people who need help who would never have thought of getting advice. People are too busy and stressed out to get tests… and if they can’t hear the TV or radio it’s easier to just turn up the volume.”
In 2013 she went to Bath for the Special Olympics to be part of a DMU team of volunteers which offered free hearing screening to 350 athletes. Anyone found to have a problem was given a letter to take to their GP detailing which tests they’d had and their results.
Devangi also got fully involved in student life, joining the De Montfort Student Union (DSU) badminton society and volunteering as a course rep, becoming a key link between tutors and students while helping to drive up standards. She regularly talked to her classmates and represented their views on different committees and boards.
For all her efforts she was named course rep of the year at the very first DSU Student OSCAR Awards in 2014. Unfortunately she couldn’t attend the ceremony as she had exams the next day, however she said: “It’s great your work is appreciated but I didn’t do it for the award. I just wanted to help people, which is why it wasn’t a big deal for me that I couldn’t make it on the night. But getting an award means I did make difference and I did do something right. For that reason it’s the highlight of my time at DMU.”
Posted on Thursday 16th July 2015