Social mobility in practice

Social mobility in practice

Angel Kotwall, UK Summer School alum and intern at the Trust, reflects on her journey with the Sutton Trust.
Angel Kotwall on February 7, 2019

I’ve been the Communications, Research and Policy Intern at the Sutton Trust since October 2018, but my journey with the Trust goes back a little further than that. In 2014, I attended the University of Cambridge Summer School where the world of travel and higher education was opened up to me.

I was anxious when sending off my application as my school didn’t promote national programmes such as the UK summer schools, so I only knew about regional opportunities. I was also scared about travelling so far from home – most people in my school tended to apply close to the local area.

I was so excited when I got my acceptance back. I couldn’t believe that I, as a biracial, northern female on free school meals, was going to experience a week at Cambridge University. For the first time, travelling far from home felt not only a possibility, but a probability.

When the Summer School finally came I can honestly say it was one of the best weeks of my education… and it was all free! Everything from travel to accommodation was paid for so that the week was stress-free and focused purely on learning, fun and all things university.

I stayed in Churchill College and got to soak up what it’s like to sleep, eat and learn at this amazing institution. When we say that the Summer Schools give you an insight into higher education, we really mean it!

I chose to study English on the Summer School and I was able to attend lectures and seminars, and even sample an Oxbridge group tutorial. I even got to attend King Lear at The Globe Theatre as part of the week, which was particularly surreal as Lear was played by none other than Geoffrey from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air!

What’s great about our programmes is that every partner university offers unique and valuable advice, so no matter what course you choose, you’ll be supported just the same. And the social activities are just as key – there truly is something for everyone, whether it’s sporting activities, parties or art sessions. I felt like I’d known my course mates forever by the end of the week. And now, with our alumni community, those connections can continue throughout the rest of our lives.

You never know where your Sutton Trust connection will take you, and I’m a case in point. Five years ago, I couldn’t have imagined I’d now be working at the Trust.

So if you’re reading this, and thinking that you’d like to experience our programmes, there is still time to apply to our UK Summer Schools before applications close on February 28th.

You’ve got nothing to lose and a whole week of experience to gain!

Angel Kotwall | | Category: Alumni, Programmes, Social Mobility