After leaving WGS I obtained work experience at the National Milk Laboratories and commenced Loughborough University Mathematics for Engineers online course for students who have chosen to work in industry prior to university entry. I also worked part-time at Waitrose, joined the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus where we toured Helsinki, Paris and Germany. After a wonderful year of self-discovery I took up the opportunity to study MSci Chemistry at Imperial College London.
What influenced your parents to send you to the Grammar?
My parents worked hard and they wanted the best for me; it was important that I attended a school where I would be encouraged to develop my interests as well as excel academically.
What was it like and what do you particularly remember about your time here?
I enjoyed every single day; I remember joining Senior Choir when I was in year 7 and older students befriending me and making me feel part of the senior choir family. I remember with great fondness Mr Proverbs who I worked with from year 2007 to June 2013; singing the Poulenc soprano solo with a full orchestra, going on choir tour and singing at Menem Gate, Chamber Choir standing next to my Latin teacher Mrs Kingshott. Netball tour to Northern Ireland with the girls and taking part in Godspell which was the best theatrical experience of my life; I will be forever grateful that I got the opportunity to work with such a talented set of people. Student parliaments, Peer Support, being elected Head Girl, representing WGS at conference and events, leading a small group of students to Nuffield Science event at Coventry University were amongst my highlights. And being awarded Merchant Taylors’ Company (Sir Stephen Jenyns) Annual Leaving Prize and Colin Garner Memorial Cup was particularly memorable.
Are you still in touch with people now?
I am still in touch with many of my friends from WGS; we all continue to make an effort to visit each other at our respective universities across the country.
How has the experience helped shape you as a person?
When I joined WGS I was a chorister at St Peter’s Church and I was studying performance at Stagecoach; I was a happy and confident11 year old when I joined WGS. What WGS did for me was enable me to continue to be happy and confident at secondary school. I also got good examination results, which afforded me the opportunity to take up a place at Imperial College London.
In 2010 my father had an accident, which resulted in him not being able to return to work; my mother needed to stop work to look after him. Our financials situation changed significantly and it would have been much easier for my parents to take me out of WGS rather than use their savings to continue to pay for my school fees. My parent’s say sending me to WGS was their best investment; I have used up a significant amount of my inheritance – but my parents have been able to enjoy the experience with me. It is a big financial commitment but the rewards are big too.
What have you been doing since leaving School?
I am currently an undergraduate student studying MSci in Chemistry. With regards to career choice I remain open minded at this stage. I still enjoy singing and performing and I am a member of Bach Choir. I was elected to Wilkinson Hall Committee Representative where I organise events for residents and I am a Rectors Ambassador where I represent Imperial College at official events.
What advice would you give to a current student/someone about to leave the School?
Current students should work hard; it’s a very competitive world and once you have good examination grades you can compete for the best opportunities. If you are about to leave school and you are not sure what you really want to do take a year off. Higher education is expensive; you need to make sure you are doing the right course for the right reasons. I considered Higher Apprenticeships and employment before deciding to commit to a degree in Chemistry; the extra year really helped me focus and plan my next move.