When I first heard about the Sutton Trust summer schools, I jumped at the chance to apply. As an A-level student, I knew I wanted to study economics at university but I didn’t think studying at Cambridge was a realistic goal for me. Despite having the academic results to apply, it just wasn’t on my radar as something that someone with my background would be able to do.
However, as soon as I got to the summer school at Cambridge, that mindset changed forever. The people I met were friendly, welcoming, and I realised that I had just as much right to a place there as someone with a more privileged upbringing.
I went home, and started the application process. I was successful and started at Cambridge the following October, going on to spend a year at MIT on exchange, completing undergrad classes at Harvard too. After graduating I began my career as a Management Consultant at Oliver Wyman and become one of the youngest partners in the firm eight years later.
The week I spent at the Sutton Trust summer school was truly life-changing. The choices you make as a young adult are really critical, and having access to the right support and advice is so important.
The new alumni network will provide that additional support and advice after a programme has ended as well as allowing alumni to reconnect with old friends and stay in touch.
Alumni who are further on in their career will be able to offer support to younger members who are looking for advice on a particular university course, industry or career path. Members will also be able to browse a jobs board for opportunities posted by businesses.
The network has the potential to function as a sort of surrogate family, helping those who do not have strong family and social connections to gain similar benefits to those who do.
I am now a Sutton Trust Fellow and thrilled that I am able to give back and contribute to the ongoing work of the Trust, to provide more young people with the incredible experience I had.