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 Beyond St Swithun’s: Inspiration for Further Education, Apprenticeships and Gaps Years 

Spanish at Royal Holloway, London

Kellie Cheung

Kellie left St Swithun’s in 2018 and went straight on to study modern languages (Spanish) at Royal Holloway, University of London.

She is currently on her year abroad in Madrid studying at Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Kellie really enjoys life at university, especially being a part of the lacrosse club. She was able to become the President of RH lacrosse club in 2019 and this has been one of her most rewarding experiences.

In this presentation, she talks about what it is like to study languages at university, life at university in general and her year abroad. 

French and Italian (Exeter Uni) and working in marketing

Annie Chisholm

Annie is a communications and marketing professional living in London. After 8 years working in creative advertising she took the plunge and went brand side to head up the marketing team at Day 8, the boutique holiday company behind The Yacht Week.

Leaving St Swithun's in 2007, she headed to the University of Exeter to study French and Italian, a fantastic springboard which has unlocked many opportunities to travel and explore. 

Dyson Institute Degree Apprenticeship and Cambridge University

Madeleine Steer

Madeleine left St. Swithun's in 2013 having studied maths, physics, French and further maths (AS) at A-Level. She went on to study mechanical engineering at Jesus College, University of Cambridge, specialising in materials, management and bioengineering in her final two years. During her time at Cambridge, Madeleine did three summer industrial placements in metallurgy, structural engineering, and fast-moving consumer goods, to gain work experience and clarify what she might want to do after her degree. 

After graduating with an MEng in 2017, Madeleine joined The Dyson Institute as a graduate project manager. The Dyson Institute is a new higher education provider, offering a four-year degree apprenticeship programme where students study for an engineering degree while also working as an engineer from day one. In Madeleine's current role she designs and delivers the professional development programme for Dyson Institute students.

Data Analytics at Sheffield University

Riannon Williams

Rhiannon Williams is a PhD student in Data Analytics at the University of Sheffield. Her research is in homelessness and housing insecurity. Prior to this, Rhiannon studied English Literature (BA) at the University of York and Information Management (MA) at Sheffield, and worked in libraries.

Law at King's College, London

Katherine James

Katherine is currently in her final year of studying Law (LLB) at King’s College, London. During her second year, she received a training contract offer at an international law firm in London, and is due to commence next year, following the completion of a Masters of Law and the Legal Practice Course at BPP University in London.

Katherine is looking forward to talking about life at KCL, undergraduate study in London, law school applications and the route to qualification for solicitors.

Studying Geography at Bristol and Oxford

Hetty Neish and Tabitha Kennedy

Henrietta Neish (D 2013), and Tabitha Kennedy (CG 2013) talk about studying geography at Bristol and Oxford universities.

Henrietta left St Swithuns in 2013 having studied geography, economics and chemistry at A-Level. She went on to study geography at University of Bristol focussing on physical geography in her 2nd and 3rd year. After university, she worked as an estate agent at Strutt and Parker in Salisbury for a year, before undertaking a real estate masters at University of Reading in 2017. In 2018, she joined the CBRE commercial property graduate scheme, qualifying as a chartered surveyor in November 2020. She now specialises in helping to find tenants office space in the South East. 

Tabitha left St Swithuns in 2013 having studied geography, biology, English literature and art at A-Level. She studied geography at University of Oxford (Hertford College) and is now an environmental consultant in Bristol with the engineering firm Arup.


History of Art, Gemmology (University College London)

Hope Francis and Yasmin Siabi

Hope Frances

Hope took a gap year before going to study history of art at University College London. She graduated in 2020 and is now completing her FGA gemmology qualification while working at the gallery Messums Wiltshire. 

Yasmin Siabi

Yasmin attended the Courtauld Institute of Art in London for her undergraduate degree, where she began her journey into the history of art. Yasmin continued her studies at the Courtauld to embark on a Masters degree (2016-2017), where she specialised in Persian painting and transcultural visuality, gaining a distinction as well as Gingko publisher awards for independent research. Subsequently, she has curated Islamic art exhibitions at the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, worked in London art galleries, and co-founded a clothing brand that seeks to give a platform to emerging young and mid-career artists. After a brief hiatus from art history to complete a law conversion degree (2017-2018), she returned to the Courtauld Institute to begin her doctoral studies, where she is now a PhD candidate. Her PhD research focuses on early modern Persian art and architecture with further interests in urbanism, Islamic architectural history and spatial choreography. It examines the final chapter of the Persian Safavid Era (1501-1722) and the rise in power of the religious elite, exploring its intersection with the masterworks of Safavid Persia and how the conception of these projects served to reorient urban culture and urban thinking in Iran. It is the first research project of its kind to analyse this period in Persian history and interrogate realisations of imperial priorities. In addition to her PhD research, Yasmin lectures undergraduates and post-graduates at the Courtauld Institute, as well as teaching GCSE/A-Level students in London as part of the Government Catch Up scheme.



Freelance Designing and Starting up a Business

Claire Graham

Claire left St Swithuns in 2015 and went on to study history of art at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Whilst at university she started a small business selling accessories and found the design element of running a business the most fulfilling part. After leaving university she went on to study at Shillington Education and is now a freelance graphic designer.

Alternatives to Medicine - Food and Human Nutrition

Lottie Jones

Lottie left St Swithuns in 2015 having studied chemistry, geography and food technology at A-Level and went to University of Newcastle to study food and human nutrition. Upon graduating she went on to work in the nutrition team at Lidl GB at their head office in Wimbledon.  

Art and Fine Art

Ruby Bateman and Mary Gatenby

Ruby Bateman Biography

Ruby Bateman is an MA Print graduate from the Royal College of Art (2020) and holds a first BA (hons) degree from the University of Brighton (2017) and a Foundation Diploma from Falmouth University (2014). Ruby has exhibited across the UK and has adapted to the COVID-19 crisis by exhibiting online and participating in online collaborations, including: ‘And Female…’ (2020) and ‘Want To Collaborate But Don’t Want To Touch’ Forced Collaboration (2020). She has interned for social-political arts causes such as Big Arts Herstory Project (2019) and Birth Rites Collection (2019), something she is deeply passionate about and has since been shortlisted for BRC's 2020 new works (2020). Ruby teaches creative workshops around London for arts and corporate clientele including Blue Shop Cottage Gallery (2020), Peckham Craft Show (2019), WeWork (2019-2020) and University of Brighton (2018). She prides herself on contributing to a wider participation in the arts. 

Mary Gatenby Biography

Mary studied a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Camberwell College of Art in 2015, before starting a Fine Art BFA at Oxford University in 2016, where she was a recipient of the Kalu Wind Essay Prize in 2017 and a St Edmund Hall college scholar. After graduating she worked in the Christie’s Archive and at Tate Ward Auctions in their Urban and Contemporary Art Department. 

Her recent exhibitions include Object Relations at the Low Profile Studio (2020), The Festival of Quilts at Alexander Palace (2020) and the Sequestered Art Prize at Tristan Hoare Gallery (shortlist 2021).

In October she began an MA in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, studying on the special option Documentary Reborn: Photography, Film and Video in Global Contemporary Art. As a result of her research in war art, she spoke at the UNESCO conference Another Artworld: Manifestations and Conditions of Equity in the Visual Arts on the relationship between NGOs and the Iraqi art market in December 2020. 

Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Swansea University

Megan Jolleys

Megan left St Swithuns in 2016 having studied Biology, Psychology and Maths as A levels. She has recently graduated this summer with a degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, having thoroughly enjoyed her time at Swansea University. Whilst at university she played and captained lacrosse, was part of various societies and spent a lot of time on the beaches.

English at Exeter and the Graduate Scheme at Cadburys

Ella Jonas

Ella had six brilliant years at St Swithun’s before leaving in 2015. She then went to the University of Exeter to study English Literature, where she was able to develop the passion for feminism Ms Gandee had instilled in her by making every essay about the importance of female characters! She also loved getting involved with everything university had to offer, including trying new sports like rowing. Ella now lives in London (with two of her best friends from Swithun’s) and works for Cadbury on their graduate scheme, which mostly consists of trying to not eat all the free chocolate for breakfast...  

Economics at UCL

Anna Chittick

Anna left St Swithun's in 2014 with A-Levels in Maths, Latin and Greek. After a gap year spent working in AI sales at IBM, Anna studied for her Economics BSc at UCL, where she ran the university student-led investment fund and graduated in 2018 with a First-Class Hons degree. Since graduation, she has spent two years working in Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank, before moving to Private Equity fund Pollen Street Capital in December 2019.

Degree Apprenticeships at Exeter University

Nikita Brown

Nikita Brown, Outreach Officer at Exeter University, presents a virtual talk about University Apprenticeships.

The session encourages students to consider degree apprenticeships as an option for HE study.  It provides a general overview of opportunities available whilst also focusing on the courses available at the University of Exeter. 

American Sports Scholarship

Megan Bespolka

St Swithun's Old Girl Megan Bespolka (V 2016) is an inspiration for those wishing to be a sports scholar in an American College. Megan will talk about her experience of being a student athlete at Rollins College in Florida.

"It has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. It requires commitment, dedication and most importantly, a love of your sport."

Veterinary Medicine at Edinburgh University

Georgia Tice

Georgia left St Swithun's in the summer of 2014 and went straight on to study Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. 

She graduated in 2019 and has since completed a year-long internship at Dubai Equine Hospital.

Geometry, Geosciences and Gee gees

Alex van Randwyck

Alex left St Swithun's in 2012 and took a gap year before going to study BSc Geology at the University of Leicester. After graduating in 2016 she went on to study an MSc in Petroleum Geoscience at Imperial College, London. In addition to studying, during her time at uni Alex was heavily involved in sport and was awarded a sport scholarship at both universities. She represented her country numerous times at International Student Riding Nations Cups and was selected as part of the Dutch team for the World University Equestrian Championships in 2016. 

Since graduating in 2016, Alex has pursued a career in the equestrian industry; she based herself with an International Event Rider for 2 years, gained coaching qualifications and competed at International level. She became self employed at the end of last year. Alex is also part of the BEF Equality Engagement Group and Young Professionals Programme and runs a podcast which aims to educate listeners on horse care and career options within the industry.

English MA and PhD at the University of East Anglia

Anna Wall

Originally from London, Anna joined St Swithun’s in L4 as a boarder. After finishing school in 2012, she took a gap year before studying English Literature at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich. At university she developed a passion for Early Modern Literature and stayed at UEA to do a Masters in Medieval and Early Modern Literature. She was lucky enough to receive PhD funding and is now in the second year of her doctorate at UEA whilst also teaching undergraduate seminars. 

Studying in the US

Simon Lewis

Simon is a Partner at UES and the Director of College Counselling. He divides his time between UES and Latymer Upper School, where he is Head of International University Applications. He has previously worked at Wycombe Abbey in Buckinghamshire and oversaw the school's largest ever cohort of US applications in 2019-20. Simon works closely with many of UES’s 40 school partners on their US applications provision. In partnership with the University Guys and Unifrog, he has set up international university discussion forums across the UK, shaping the national conversation around international applications. Simon is an expert in US college counselling, standardised testing strategy, essay review, and financial aid. He has successfully supported students applying for a wide range of specialist majors, including architecture, music, and engineering. He is also a reader and mentor for the Sutton Trust US Programme, run in partnership with the Fulbright Commission. 

Before entering the world of international education in 2010, Simon graduated with a BA in English Literature from Goldsmiths, University of London, and worked as an employability mentor in the public sector and for social enterprises. Outside of UES he is a keen cellist and string arranger and has worked with Berklee College of Music’s Wadham Production Scholarship programme in the UK.

Studying Biochemistry at the University of York

Angel Chan

After graduating from St. Swithun's in 2014, Angel went on to do a Biochemistry degree at the University of York and graduated with an M.Biochem in 2018. She is now working as a chemist at a testing laboratory in Hong Kong.Her university life in York was one of the most amazing times in her life and she is keen to share her experiences of the course, life in York and the career options open to people with a science degree. 

Studying in Canada

Eleanor Melhuish and Chelsea Ljutic

Eleanor Melhuish went to St Swithun's until 2019. She took Latin, History and English literature at A-Level before starting at McGill university in Montreal, Canada. 

Chelsea Ljutic is a Trade Commissioner at the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom, where her responsibilities include representing the business interests of Canadian academic institutions in the UK through recruitment initiatives and partnership development. Prior to this role, Chelsea worked in the private sector. Originally from Canada, she holds an MPhil from the University of Cambridge.

Languages at Durham University

Florence de Jersey Lowney

Florence attended St Swithun's from L4 up to the sixth form and for her A-levels, she took French, German and Classical Civilisation. She then went on to Durham University to study French and German and will be graduating next year.

Studying in Ireland - Trinity College, Dublin

Gobnait O’Shaughnessy (European Recruitment, Trinity College, Dublin)
About Trinity College, Dublin

Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, is Ireland's oldest university and one of the world’s most prestigious universities, with a global reputation for excellence in teaching, research and innovation - ranked No. 1 in Ireland and in the top 1% of universities worldwide. With over 125 undergraduate course offerings, Trinity offers courses in disciplines ranging from languages and literature to nanoscience and biomedical engineering. Trinity is committed to world-class teaching and research across the arts, humanities, engineering, science, social and health sciences.

 The University brings together a diverse, curious and supportive community of almost 18,000 students and 3,400 staff in the heart of Dublin city. Trinity’s central location is in the heart of a social and global business hub, where students are recruited for internships, summer jobs and graduate careers.

Trinity also has partnerships with some of the most prestigious universities in the world, giving Trinity students over 300 exchange and study abroad opportunities across the world. The accessible and dedicated professors encourage students to engage in college life and to engage with the city, beyond the campus gates. Student life at Trinity is about much more than education: with over 170 sports clubs and societies, ranging from athletics to tennis, debating to investing, and drama to science fiction, there is something to suit every interest.

Trinity aspires to develop graduates who act responsibly, think independently, communicate effectively and develop continuously. Trinity provides a unique and vibrant student experience, and is proud to have produced generations of academics, leaders, decision makers, innovators and entrepreneurs.

History, Philosophy of Science and Classical Civilisation

Charity Haines

"I am the definition of an all-rounder - I love music, sport, drama and a broad spectrum of academics.  After gaining A-levels in geography, RS and chemistry at St Swithuns’ I took a gap year, then studied the History & Philosophy of Science with Religious Studies & Theology at Leeds University. Leeds satisfied both my intellectual hunger and my love for activity and adventure. I got stuck into rowing and the Officers’ Training Corps, taking on committee positions in the boat club and Christian Union (drawing on my experience as head of house in Hillcroft and Finlay).

Post-Leeds I moved to London to live in a community house and work with a charity supporting university students. After getting married I nannied for a year, and now produce conferences for an independent company where I can put my research skills, love of people and creativity to good use producing professional, cross-sector conferences."

Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry at Imperial College

Joyce Ip

Joyce Ip is a student at Imperial College London, where she is currently pursuing a Master’s in Molecular Medicine. She graduated from St Swithun’s School in 2015 and attained a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Imperial College London in 2018. Prior to returning to Imperial for her Master’s, she worked as a strategy associate consultant at Aon for 2 years, where she advised clients on growth and M&A strategies.

Physiotherapy at Cardiff

Phillipa Bonney

Pippa is a third year physiotherapy student at Cardiff University.  She joined St Swithuns as a full boarder in Hyde Abbey in 2013 and stayed until finishing her A-levels in 2017.  Pippa then took a year out to travel and work in New Zealand before going to university.  As part of her application process she attended three very different interviews which she explains during her talk.  Additionally, she discusses how studying physiotherapy differs from other courses at university (e.g. contact hours, compulsory placements) and some of her favourite things about being a student in Cardiff.

Studying in Scotland: Edinburgh and Dundee

Ilaria Marchi, University of Edinburgh and Mishal Dattani, University of Dundee

Ilaria Marchi

Ilaria was born in Italy, near Bologna, and moved to Scotland to attend University in Aberdeen where she graduated in history. Ilaria then moved to Edinburgh where she studied for her Masters in gender history at the University of Edinburgh. After a couple of years of working for events and administration, she started working in her current team as an Admission Assistant. Ilaria was promoted a few months later to Admission Administrator. Ilaria's main focus was organising and supervising the university's first-ever admission interviews for medicine for 2020 entry and she now continues to take a lead on the implementation and planning for Assessment Days for 2021.

Mish Dattani

Mish has worked in the Higher Education sector since 2010 across a number of roles including admissions, marketing and schools and colleges liaison/student recruitment, having been fortunate to represent both the University of Surrey and the University of Dundee across the UK and overseas (specifically in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Europe as well as the UK). Mish’s current role at the University of Dundee is as a Regional Lead for work with UK-based international students as well as work with international and independent schools, delivering presentations and talks on a wide variety of aspects within Higher Education as well as providing advice and guidance to students and careers advisors/counsellors on those very topics.

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