He’s gone from thinking university was unattainable to mapping out a career path that includes postgraduate research.
Samuel Grey is living proof that anything is possible.
The 29-year-old, who’s studying the Bachelor of Paramedic Science at CQUniversity’s Townsville campus, will become the first person in his family to graduate from university when he completes his degree in 2019.
“When I finished Year 12 I personally thought uni was out of the cards for me,” Mr Grey says.
“I’m originally from Sydney and I was told at school that I wasn’t smart enough for uni and wouldn’t be able to comprehend it,” he continued.
So instead of going to university straight from high school, Mr Grey enrolled in a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
He soon realised higher education wasn’t unattainable and continued on to complete a Diploma in Security and Risk Assessment, a Diploma in Project Management, and a Diploma in Leadership in Management, to name a few.
“While I had to take those stepping stones to understand I was capable of progressing on, completing the Certificates and Diplomas also made me realise that having these qualifications wasn’t quite fulfilling enough and I wanted to progress my education further,” Mr Grey says.
That’s when Mr Grey says he started researching other possible career paths.
“I was actually in South Africa for a while where I worked in security. Most contracts over there you’re required to do ambulance volunteering and as you could imagine I got to see the extreme side of society as a result and was exposed to epic amounts of trauma, arrests, shootings and stabbings because I was working in the murder capital of the world,” Mr Grey explains.
“While doing that role I found a different appreciation in wanting to help people rather than be the person doing the ‘bad’ security stuff on the other end. It was then that I realised that pre-hospital care was a career I wanted to take.”
Mr Grey said he started looking for course options online and stumbled across CQUniversity’s Paramedic Science degree.
“I found that CQUni had a pretty reputable program and it was being made internal in Townsville where I had lived for a few years when I was in the Defence so I was excited at the opportunity,” Mr Grey says.
“At the time I was tossing up between Griffith and CQUni so I attended the CQUni Townsville Open Day and that helped me make my final decision to apply for the course with CQUni,” he explains.
Mr Grey is now almost through his first year of the course and says he really enjoying the experience.
“It’s amazing – exactly what I wanted. All the lecturers at the uni are just fantastic and supportive and they’re willing to do extra for you – you can see it’s a passion for them too which makes such an impact.”
Mr Grey says he’d encourage anyone considering university, or even those thinking it may be an unachievable goal, to head to an Open Day, speak to academics and get a real feel for what university life is all about.
“Do it – it could change your life!
“I come from a family where the perception of a degree is unattainable so being part of the process now is amazing. I HD’d my first semester which was so awesome and proved to me, and everyone, that I can do it.”
Proving that anything is possible, Mr Grey says he’s now already thinking about options after he completes his degree.
“I wouldn’t mind staying on to do a Masters of Research if my marks are good enough. That’s something I never dreamed I’d be saying.”