PROGRESSION MENTOR BLOG | October 2022
By Bel Pertwee, Careers Advisor and SUN Progression Mentor @ Peter Symonds College
On Thursday 17 March, 25 SUN and Outreach Hub students set out on a trip to Oxford University. It was the most beautiful day, and Oxford looked wonderful in the sunshine. Our day trip was hosted by St John’s College who put together a fantastic schedule for us. Richard Waters, a member of the Oxford University Access Team, gave our first talk: ‘Why Oxford’. Richard explained the advantages of Oxbridge over other universities. He talked about the facilities and opportunities, including the generous bursary and scholarship schemes that are available. He went through the application process, personal statements, testing and how to prepare for the UCAS process.
We were then taken on a tour of St John’s College, followed by lunch in their very impressive dining room. After lunch we went next door to Trinity College and were given a full tour of the college ranging from their state of the art new library facilities to the JCR (Junior Common Room) who were offering tea and cake to any students in need of a bit of support. We then went back to St John’s College and had a lovely hour with one of the college professors who is on the interviewing panel for Oxford University. He challenged the students with a number of typical questions that might be offered at interview and got them to work in groups to come up with their answers.
During the day a former student of Peter Symonds who is now studying Medicine at St John’s College came to join us. He left in the summer 2021 so it was fantastic that he had so recently been through the application process and was able to answer the students’ questions.
It was a wonderful day out for our students and a real taste of the opportunities on offer at Oxford University.