"Student Midwife of the Year" STNA Celebration Evening!

Some of you may remember that I was shortlisted in the 2020 Student Nursing Times Award's for the category of Student Midwife of the Year. It was a huge honour to be shortlisted and I am genuinely still so honoured that I made it into the top 10 students in the UK. After having my interview in March, it's been a long wait to hear the results due to Covid-19. The celebration evening was suppose to be in April with a huge glamourous event in London. I was so excited to attend, celebrate and network with lots of likeminded people. 

As mentioned in my weekly post yesterday, last week I attended the virtual, online Celebration Evening. You can see some of the footage from the night here, but also watch the full live stream here. You may need to register for access but it's quick and easy! 

I was actually rostered on for a long day in placement and because of different things happening, it was actually only my second shift working with my sign off practice supervisor so I really didn't want to switch my shift. I decided I would go to work for an early shift and just leave when it was time for the meeting. The meeting was at 1pm and it was a very quick 5 minute call with other shortlisted candidates. We simply got told what would happen later this evening and how it would then work. I was quite shocked to learn the whole evening was only going to be lasting an hour and a half. The Student Midwife of the Year category was number 15 and therefore would be happening around 1645. The top three would get an email 10 minutes prior with a link to join a Zoom call, with only the winner being seen on screen. The winner would then be asked a couple of questions in the form of a post-win interview. Due to the fact we weren't needed until later, I decided to stay until 4pm. By the time I had finished, because everything was kicking off a little as I left, I actually left at about 10 past so had to rush home, get set up and then have a shower and put makeup in a speedy 20 minutes! 

Whilst I was waiting for our category I was playing with the rest of the programme and one of the features was the photobooth. I didn't find the camera quality very good but I liked the border and enjoyed celebrating and making boomerangs with my celebratory diet coke. Other than that, the rest wasn't really very well organised. I thought it was a shame we couldn't really see the other candidates, because I think it would have been great for us all to be chatting and waiting in a little room. One of the big selling points of the experience was the networking opportunities which I just felt was really difficult to do, and not many people engaged with. I also found the system quite lagging in parts and it was a shame you couldn't rewind. Although, it is now available to watch on catch up as a whole. 

Sadly, I didn't win the category and like many of the winners, the person who did wasn't available for the interview. I thought this was a real shame for the organisers and the sponsors especially. It was lovely to hear from the few that were available, but even then, the interviews were very short and informal questioning, with less than a minute for each. I felt, due to the online nature, this could have continued for a little longer because everyone put so much work into their applications and I feel it would have been lovely to hear in more details what the winners had done to achieve the award. 

I have to put a special shout out to the band. Truly the strangest music/entertainment pick I have ever seen. 1) the songs were terrible 2) the taste was a strange, eclectic mix of bhangra, rap and beat boxing and 3) the members seemed to give each other daggers/death stares constantly. It was odd, very odd. I don't think they added to the night at all, which is a shame because originally this was suppose to be a very prestigious and glamourous event. 

Of course, with the difficult situation at the moment, it must have been hard for them to organise so many people and such a large scale event. I commend them for their adaptability, support, communication and most of all smooth running evening. There were no technical difficulties at all and so it was good on that part. 

As most are, I'm really disappointed that the even couldn't go ahead in person but very thankful to have been apart of the experience and incredible opportunity. Congratulations once again to all the shortlisted finalists (especially those from my university) and a huge round of applause to all the winners who are incredibly well-deserved! Thank you to everyone who supported by SNTA journey, directly and indirectly. I am sad it's come to an end but grateful for all of the support!