March 5th 2021

Developing leadership and self-confidence at East Midlands Universities Officer Training Corps (EMUOTC)

2nd Lieutenant Beth Adams in uniform

2nd Lieutenant Beth Adams, Veterinary Medicine student at the University of Nottingham

2nd Lieutenant Beth Adams, Platoon Commander for 2nd years at EMUOTC, talked to us about how her studies and training as an Army officer work hand in hand to complement each other.

What attracted you to join East Midlands Universities Officer Training Corps (EMUOTC)?

I previously did Cadets at school and therefore I had a bit of exposure to military training. I remember at fresher’s fair in my first year someone telling me that you could get paid to do things like walking, kayaking and climbing. That seemed pretty amazing and unique to all the other societies at the fresher’s fair! At the time I also had an interest in joining the Army, so thought this society would be a good way to better understand military life.

What do you enjoy most about the society?

For me, it has to be the people. One thing I really value is that you get to meet people from a range of universities who you probably wouldn’t have met outside the society. Furthermore, the type of training we do and the amount of time we spend together means that you form really strong bonds. Some of my closest friends I have made at university have been because of OTC.

EMUOTC on their skiing trip

Beth enjoyed learning to ski as part of EMUOTC

What events have been most memorable?

My favourite trip has to be the ski trip I went on last year. I was learning a completely new skill outside my comfort zone (a skill that I never would never have done outside the OTC), was surrounded by my friends and getting paid. It seemed like there should have been a catch!

Walking up the steps of Old College at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in front of my family and friends and getting my Reserve Commission will take some beating. That is something that I would never have considered doing if it had not been for OTC.

How have activities this year been affected?

Like a lot of things, this year’s training has been affected a lot by Covid. We have had to move all our training to a virtual platform and it has been hard to re-create what we would normally do. For the second years, this is mainly field-based. We have therefore tried to focus on developing different aspects of leadership and confidence. This included presentation skills and group discussions, as well as continuing with military training. We’ve still been able to catch up with friends as we have also had social nights and pub quizzes etc.

Beth Adams in dress uniform

What are you most looking forward to once you can meet properly again, post-Covid?

I think getting away from the computer screen will be something that all students will be looking forward to! I am also looking forward to catching up and spending time with everyone on our end of year summer camp. It’ll be a nice way to finish the training year.

What have you learned from being part of EMUOTC? 

Where to begin?! I have learnt loads of military skills, ranging from how to polish boots and iron uniform, to how to lead a platoon attack and everything in between. However, for me personally, it has been my confidence that has been my biggest development whilst OTC. I am now comfortable with standing up in front of a group of 40 people and delivering my plan or ideas. I am also happy leading people in the field on activities. Having had to give a presentation as part of my university course, I would now consider this a strength of mine when compared to my peers.

What transferable skills have you developed?

I have spent two years in a command position here at EMUOTC and this has really helped me develop key transferable skills. One of the main skills I have developed is people management, for example, understanding people’s strength and weaknesses.  It’s key to helping them utilise their traits. I also aim to understand what people want to get out of EMUOTC, as well as helping with any welfare issues. I have also gained skills such as how to teach and deliver lessons, and working in a tiered management system. These are skills not just linked to the Army and that I will be able to use in everyday working life.

Beth on a sailing boat

Beth enjoying a sailing expedition

What does the future hold?

I intend to continue with my military career. I have another year at university where I hope to undertake some more training with a local reserve unit. Once I graduate, I am going to join the Royal Army Veterinary Corps. I am looking forward to combining the skills I have learnt at OTC with the knowledge I have gained studying at university.

Learn more about the East Midlands Universities Officer Training Corps here.

"I remember at fresher’s fair in my first year someone telling me that you could get paid to do things like walking, kayaking and climbing. That seemed pretty amazing and unique to all the other societies at the fresher’s fair!" - Beth Adams