Today I have an interview with Gemma, a Masters student starting at Oxford this October:
Why did you decide to apply to Oxford in the first place?
In 2009 I attended the Sutton Trust Summer School, a charity which encourages students from low income families/those who are the first in their family to go to university to spend a week at top universities to get a taster of life as a student.
I studied Spanish for the week at Oxford and loved my time at Magdalen College. At this point I didn't even know if university was right for me and I put the idea of studying at Oxford on hold for a while.
After graduating I had checked the different courses Oxford had to offer but was still unsure what to study. I worked for a number of companies as a teacher in the UK and abroad to gain some life experience. I knew if I wanted to be a lecturer I needed a master’s degree from a top university to stand out so I thought it is now or never, lets apply for Oxford!
Where did you study before?
I did my undergraduate degree at Coventry University where I studied Spanish and TEFL with a work/study placement abroad.
What is your Masters in?
I'll be doing a full time masters in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition (Also known as ALSLA).
What did the application process involve?
I had to fill out an online application where I submitted two pieces of academic writing, three references (one professional and two academic) as well as a personal statement. I was called for an interview quite quickly. The tutors were so friendly and at the interview I was told if I had any questions about anything I could email them directly which I thought was really nice considering I was adamant I didn’t have a place.
Which college did you apply to and why?
I put on the application that I was open to any college as all of the colleges seemed really cool and had their own unique character so I couldn't decide. Now I have been given Worcester I am so happy as it is known to be really friendly, beautiful and have some of the best food available.
Will you be given college accommodation?
I didn't apply for college accommodation as I live with my partner and wanted somewhere private. There was a choice of a couples flat but it went very quickly! I am currently in the process of finding private accommodation in the city centre.
What are you most excited about?
I am really looking forward to being a student again, meeting people from all over the world and being taught by some of the best in the field. Oh and trying the food at Worcester!
What are you most nervous about?
The workload and transition back from working to studying.
What would your advice to other Masters applicants be?
Make every word count in your personal statement. Don’t just say what you think they want to hear. Believe in yourself and just go for it as you really don’t have anything to lose.