YOU can only imagine the looks Alex Marquez received from construction industry colleagues when he informed them he was stepping out of that testosterone-fuelled workforce to enter the estrogen-fuelled world of midwifery.
The 42-year-old has become the first male midwifery student ever at Southern Cross University and is only weeks into his degree at the Coffs Harbour campus.
"I'm absolutely loving the degree at the moment," Mr Marquez said.
"I'm a feminist at heart so it just feels right and I certainly don't feel out of place studying in this area."
Mr Marquez, who was born in Uruguay but brought up in Sydney's west, has always wanted to be involved in a job that helped people but circumstances never quite allowed him to follow his dream.
"I've mainly worked in labouring jobs and in the construction industry and I've often volunteered for 'help-type' roles, be it voluntary counselling or things like that, and I've always thought I'd love to be a nurse," he said.
"I eventually bit the bullet and did a Certificate III at TAFE last year in aged care. I then did the Preparing for Success course at SCU and then applied for nursing and midwifery."
The Nambucca Heads local became interested in midwifery following the birth of his daughter in 2012.
"My partner got pregnant and I loved the whole experience," he said.
"For me, it just seems like the perfect job. You are mostly involved with people during some of their happiest moments."
Being the first male midwifery student doesn't concern Mr Marquez.
"I also used to be a bit of a musician so I like to be in the spotlight," he chuckled.