Application

 Cambridge

 Churchill

 Veterinary Medicine

 1999

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 FE College

 yes (8 A*)

A-levels

(NA at AS)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Other universities

N/A

Decisions about the application

There was only 6 I could apply to, it filled a space

Oxford don’t do the course

Not really sure, close to buildings where I’d have spent a lot of time, also scientifically based college

Preparation

yes

Well they seemed to try, but it was highly unsuccessful, and didn’t really help

Interview: Know everything about everything you’re going to have to learn before you go, seriously it would help. Otherwise see as many ops as possible and be able to talk about them, also farming issues and all that stuff

Interview

no

no

yes

Well I had to do a couple of exams – but I was a trial year and they promised not to look at them til they’d already decided whether to give me an offer or not

The first bloke spent ages asking me about the transition from St Marys to the Sixth Form, which I wasn’t expecting at all, he then asked me about horses and I basically said that although I could handle them I couldn’t afford to keep one, he then asked if I had been to their open day and I said I hadn’t been able to afford the train fare and it all came down to economics and I was hoping to look around while I was there, so basically I think I came across as some really poor person who was going to drain the college of its resources. He then asked me if there was anything I HADN’T put on my UCAS form which I would like to tell him about, and I thought well no not really I put a lot of effort into that form, but managed to tell him all about my interest in geology and the landscape of essex for a while, which I think was ok. He then happily told me that they had had 45 applicants of whom they were interviewing 30, and 2 would get in, and I thought, well thanks for that matey…

The second bloke scared me. I got in the room and he said, I see you worked on a goat farm; I’m a horse man, convince me that goats are interesting, and this is something I am kicking myself over, because I could have been so much more convincing and confident than I was, he then asked me what I did at Taylor & Lees, and basically I wish he hadn’t because all I do there is routine stable care, and not really veterinary at all, and I’m honest to lie about it… Although this is probably good or I would have got myself stuck.

He then asked me about something I’d seen recently, and I told him about a pyo which I think I handled well. Then he gave me a majorly deformed bone and asked me to tell him about it, and well I was kind of stuck, because firstly it was from a horse, and I don’t know a lot about horse injuries, and also I have never experienced orthapaedics in small or large animals, so I was struggling a bit, but managing to talk kind of, even though I realised as I said it that half of what I said was wrong, he then brought out a normal one for me to compare it to, then after letting me squirm a little more he brought out the intermediate stage… Oh it was bad, and as I was handling this kind of calcerous bone it kept partially disintegrating over my hands and the desk, so I apologised for breaking it, although I couldn’t really help it…. Anyway, I don’t think it really went very well

Suit because Frances told us to

Impressions

Churchill is a lot more imposing than many of the Cambridge colleges

Didn’t see, but apparently more modern than most as the building is relatively new

Excellent

Didn’t see any other than interviewers, so obviously they were scary, but then probably the nicest would seem scary under those conditions

Lovely, really friendly and kind

Final stage

I was prepared for it, my interview was bad, but I was still sad

Looking back

Yes because I’d take any opportunity to get onto a vet course, but honestly, anywhere, not especially Cambridge

Know everything, but pretend you don’t, let them feel like they’re leading you