Jasmine was a participant in the University of Oxford Summer School in 2009, and is now a Journalist at the BBC. Hear her experiences with the Sutton Trust below:

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

“I am proudly working-class, born and raised in Kingston-upon-Hull. My sister and I were the first in our family to attend university.”

What led you to apply for your Sutton Trust programme and what was your experience like?

“I heard about the Sutton Trust programme when it was mentioned by one of my former school teachers. They were encouraging me to apply to Oxford, and they thought it would give me a good feel for what it was like. I was a bit nervous, but I decided to throw my hat into the ring and apply. It was magical. I celebrated my 17th birthday there surrounded by my new friends. Even though I contracted blood poisoning halfway through the trip, it ended up working out in my favour as I got to sit in on a creative writing session – which ended up being my favourite activity of the experience.”

Did you know what you wanted to do for a career before university? Did your Sutton Trust programme (or anyone you met through it), help shape that decision?

“I’ve wanted to be a journalist for as long as I can remember. Tangentially to that, I’ve wanted to write fiction for as long as I can remember. Sitting in seminars and watching the way these experts dissected these texts with such insight and care informed the way that I approached not just books in general, but the craft at large.

Any other reflections or memories you’d like to share?

“Even though I didn’t attend Oxford after the Summer School, I’m really glad that I had this experience, and I met likeminded people from a similar background who wanted to attend university. Also shout out to John Byrne, a pal I made on the trip who still sends me the best tweets out of anyone I know.

If, like Jasmine, you’d like to share your story with us – just get in touch with the alumni team via [email protected].

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