The pathway to Cambridge: The Access Project student on her way to a top uni

It’s Freshers’ Week up and down the country and many of our student alumni are using this time to get to know their new university, check out the opportunities on offer and make new, possibly lifelong, friendships.

Beril, an alum of The Access Project, sat her A levels in the summer of 2023 and achieved three A*s and an A (in History, Psychology, Turkish and Maths). Having achieved these fantastic results, Beril will be starting her studies at Cambridge University at the beginning of October. 

We spoke to Beril about her pathway to university and how she feels about studying at Cambridge.

“I joined The Access Project in Year 10. When the programme was introduced during one of my school assemblies, I immediately applied. The University Access Officer was very approachable, and the idea of mentoring combined with tutoring by volunteers passionate in their field seemed like the best opportunity to help my studies.” 

Beril’s experience at The Access Project

Beril told us: “I’ve had 2 tutors since year 10 and my experience with both was amazing. Portia, whom I studied GCSE English literature with, guided me on how to structure my answers as well as memorising key quotes which then allowed me to achieve a 9 in a subject I initially struggled with.

“Nat, whom I studied History with, helped me overcome my fear of the History sources question and created essay plans that came in so handy during my final exam. Above all the academic help, he also gave me feedback on my personal statement and conducted mock interviews for my Cambridge interview.

“In addition, my University Access Officer, Amy, has always been the first person I turn to for not only academic help but also at times when I’m worried or upset. During our after-school sessions with all the students from The Access Project, she covered all things uni-related – our personal statement, interviews, student finance, and accommodation, making me less anxious about the big move. Our one-to-ones gave me an opportunity to tell her about my worries about revising for exams, waiting to hear back from universities etc. and Amy always put my mind at rest. Amy helped me so much during my sixth form journey and I can’t thank her enough.

“The Access Project also allowed me to connect with many who share the same interests as me, through university trips and tasters. Through this programme, I have significantly improved my social and networking skills. ”

Studying at Cambridge

We asked Beril how she is feeling about going to study at Cambridge University.

“I am so excited! Moving to such a lovely city and starting a brand new chapter of my life is both nerve-wracking but also so wonderful. I can’t wait to study my favourite subject – History – at such a renowned university.”

Finally, we asked Beril what she would say to anyone considering enrolling on our programme in the future

“I would recommend everyone to go for it and apply! I wouldn’t have had all these lovely experiences if it wasn’t for The Access Project, and I am now going off to my dream university. Both Amy and my mentors at the Oxbridge Society have played such a huge role in my success and well-being. They now continue to help many others like me, all you have to do is approach them!”

We wish good luck to Beril and all our alumni who are about to embark on a new chapter at university. You have already achieved so much, and everyone at The Access Project is very proud of you!

Around a quarter of the cost of our programme is paid for by schools. The rest is funded by trusts and foundations, corporates, universities and people like you. Without these donations, students like Beril may not receive the additional support which gives them the final stepping stone to their journey to university.

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