Name: Rachel Leighton
Role: Schools & Colleges Liaison Officer
What does your role as a Schools & Colleges Liaison Officer involve?
Like many in the Cambridge Admissions Office, my role encompasses a number of projects and activities. I regularly represent the University of Cambridge at schools, colleges and HE fairs; and I am responsible for some of our communication with teachers & HE advisers. The project which I am currently working on is coordinating the 2012 Oxford & Cambridge Student Conferences, alongside a colleague from the University of Oxford.
What is the best part of your role?
The aspect of my job I enjoy most is getting to talk to young people about their aspirations and the options and opportunities available to them in Higher Education. There are a lot of bright and talented young people out there, so I consider it a great honour to meet some of them.
And the worst?
Coming across a total myth or misconception about the University of Cambridge, in particular about the admissions process, and then having to try and dispel it. It’s a shame because more often than not these myths are wholly untrue and it’s such a waste if these deter some young people from applying to Cambridge.
Tell us more about the Oxford & Cambridge Student Conferences?
The Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences are a joint venture between Oxford and Cambridge to provide a vast number of potential applicants with appropriate information and advice on the application process, courses, and opportunities available at the two institutions. The events are held in seven venues around the UK, including Wales and Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The events are aimed at students who have already completed their GCSE/Standard Grade (or Intermediate 2) examinations and are now undertaking further study in Year 12 (or equivalent). Last year nearly eight and a half thousand students and teachers attended the conferences and we hope to reach even more students, teachers and HE Advisers in 2012. Booking is now open so see the website for more details.
What is your favourite spot in Cambridge?
Sometimes on my way to work I take a short cut through some of the Colleges. It’s really lovely first thing in the morning and there is a real feeling of space.
And finally, which one piece of advice would you give potential Cambridge applicants?
You’ve got to be in it to win it! And the only way you definitely won’t get a place at Cambridge is if you don’t apply at all. Cambridge really does have something to offer everyone, so why not give it a go?