Valerie Bockos UNE

International Women’s day feature | Valerie Bockos

Happy International Women’s Day! To celebrate today we’re featuring three inspirational female students at UNE, who represent the mothers, daughters and friends we might walk past every day on campus. Our first interview is with medicine student Valerie Bockos!

Valerie should have a Ph.D. when it comes to juggling her various commitments, because not only is she a dedicated student, but she also works, volunteers and is a devoted mother to two young children. We were lucky enough to catch up with Valerie to find out how she juggles the different facets of her life, and how her different roles can be seen as a female’s secret superpower.

Let’s learn more…

Hi Valerie, What are you studying at UNE?

I’m currently in my third year of studying medicine at UNE.

You’re pretty phenomenal at juggling lots of commitments, what is your secret?

I do have a few other commitments outside of study which include:

  • raising my 2 sons, a 4 and 6 years old
  • a husband who works full time
  • occasional demonstrating/marking/tutoring contracts through the uni
  • and volunteering with various organisations

Each thing is a nice break from the other, but getting the balance right has definitely been trial-and-error! Things that I’ve found helpful are making the most of the study time I have, making sure to prioritise my mental and physical health, setting school work aside in the evenings when I’m home with my family, and increasing family time by getting my kids involved with my volunteering and sport/exercise. I guess I eat a lot of leftovers and don’t get to watch very much TV, either. Ha!

Time can seem like a hot commodity, but my experience has been that having other commitments has helped me sharpen my time management skills and has made my study experience more well-rounded.

How does living in town benefit your studying?

I live in town with my young family where have loved that experience. We have lovely neighbours and really enjoy the amenities that Armidale has to offer, which include, parks, bush trails, markets, etc.

I actually lived on campus for a previous degree at a different university (before I had a family) and enjoyed the social life it afforded, but now I find that leaving campus at the end of the day helps me unplug and have a break from it.

In one sentence, what is one thing you want to change as a female in medicine?

This is hard! One thing I want to change as a female in medicine is I want to show and encourage other females to pursue ALL of their dreams, no matter how hard it may seem, how long it might take, or what society has taught them about it.

What do you enjoy most about being a female?

The thing I enjoy most about being a female is the impact and significance that we can have through the roles and responsibilities we choose to take on. Whether it be the role of a friend, daughter, sister, mother, aunt, step-mum, partner, the impact we can have on the people around us through those relationships is unlike any other!

Thank you, Valerie for being you and for sharing a bit about your journey with us!

As we. Mentioned earlier, Valerie is the first of three students we are highlighting, so keep your eyes peeled for more on our International Women’s Day blogs over the next few days!