What did you study at St Alban’s Sixth Form and what was your fondest memory?
I studied Geography, Chemistry, English Language and French
My fondest memory was being able to see my friends all day everyday- you take it for granted at the time but when you’re all living further apart it becomes a lot more difficult to see each other! The Sixth Form Prom was another highlight and a great blow-out post exams.
What are you studying now?
I studied Geography at the University of Oxford for my undergraduate and was lucky enough to win a scholarship to study for a DPhil (PhD) in Geography at Oxford. My PhD focuses on understanding how changes in Arabia’s climate systems over the last 200,000 years resulted in the desert being a lot wetter than it is today and what this meant for the evolution and migration of humans out of Africa. This involves a lot of digging holes in fossilised lakes and rivers in northern Oman and laboratory work to figure out how old these sediments are.
What I love about studying at Oxbridge
It’s a great privilege to study at such a historic institution but which still retains a cutting edge research focus. As an undergrad it was a great place to get exposed to leading figures in whatever field (academic and professional) that you’re interested in as there’s so many guest lectures and talks happening all the time. Mary Berry and Kanye West even gave talks during my undergrad…
Academically it’s certainly stretching but being able to have weekly tutorials in groups of 2 or 3 with academics is a great opportunity to delve deeper into your subject and is a defining feature of the Oxbridge system. Asking questions and being curious is always encouraged!
My top tip for applying to top universities
Just give it a go! If you work hard and have a genuine passion for the subject you want to study, you’ll end up somewhere great. Whilst it’s important, try not to get too bogged down in the UCAS process- make sure you remain focused on getting a good set of results and enjoying the rest of your time at Sixth Form.