On the day I received my results I was faced with a decision that was to influence the rest of my life and in all honesty I hadn’t made a back-up plan. I had always wanted to be a vet and to go to the RVC (The Royal Veterinary College) but did not achieve the grades. I felt upset and nervous when I contacted UCAS to go through Clearing.
The process for Clearing is not difficult but you have to make decisions quickly. Biology has always been my strongest subject, so I was relieved and delighted when I was offered a place at Brunel University London to study BSc Biomedical Sciences. I had previously visited Brunel on a school trip and I remembered the impressive new buildings, the large but friendly campus and the excellent facilities. I also had a friend who had graduated from Brunel and I knew she had been really happy there. The course at Brunel was ideal because it kept my options open with the opportunity to specialise later.
I did specialise later and found that I really enjoyed the lab work. I have just completed my final year and have been accepted for a job at Immunocore, a biotechnology company. I will be helping to develop drugs to treat cancer and viral infections. Looking back I now really believe that things have turned out for the best. Although I still love working with animals (I took a part-time job at a veterinary surgery whilst studying), I have found that I actually prefer research laboratory work.
My advice to students facing Clearing would be to focus on your strengths. You can’t always control your destiny but you can make the most of what you have.