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Oxbridge and Competitive Admissions Trip to London

On Monday 24 June the Oxbridge and Competitive Admissions group visited London for the day, on a mission to build skills for university applications and beyond.

The first location on the itinerary was the British Museum. The students were given the challenge to make their own way there in friendship groups and, after successfully navigating the train and underground system, they met and started the morning’s research. Students had been assigned the task of studying the background of key artefacts relating to an area of their interest on the British Museum website prior to the trip. Themes such as 'The First Cities and States', 'Mass Production, Mass Media' and 'The First Global Economy' enabled students to trace the history of their subject area across time and across the globe, as they explored a range of displays at the museum.

Next was lunch and a competition to wrap presents for our hosts! At this point, students were given envelopes which finally revealed their hitherto 'secret' location for the afternoon. The group’s visits were varied in nature, but all equally informative and stimulating. Ben Irwin of UBM, who works within corporate law at this global events-led marketing and communications services business, met with two students interested in careers in Law. After a quick tour around the Law Courts, this group discussed the benefits of a law conversion course and different routes and a range of careers available within this field.

Those interested in pursuing science, technology, engineering or mathematics were guided on a personalised tour around the laboratories at UCL by Marco Federighi, Vice Dean of Engineering at UCL. They were lucky enough to gain useful insights into the UCAS process and what to expect as a student studying at a top university. His colleague, Dr Hilary Richards of Life Sciences, was also on hand to give advice about how to make a successful application to university.

Another group, with an interest in banking, were invited to meet with Adam Treanor at Schroder’s Investment Bank on Gresham Street. Adam gave the group an insight into the graduate programme at the bank and a presentation and quiz which simulated real life banking situations. Finally, a group with wide-ranging interests in the arts and humanities travelled to ITV studios on the Southbank. Emily Thompson gives her account of this visit below.

Our final meeting point for the day was the East India Club, St James’s Square, which provided an exciting setting for our debrief and evaluation of the day, and an ideal place to enjoy a much needed cup of tea! As the students walked past the school crest on a plaque above the stairwell, they were reminded of the school’s links to this establishment and the possibility that they may return there in future years as a member of the Cokethorpe Society.

We would like to thank those involved in the organisation of the day and the Headmaster for his support.

'Our trip around London was both interesting and informative. Each student was put into a different group according to an area of interest. My group was entitled 'Language and Communication'. In the morning we toured around the British Museum, following a trail of artefacts linked to this theme. After lunch, we headed to ITV studios on the Southbank to meet Anna Spencer, Commerical Research Manager for ITV. She told us about her exciting work within the field of marketing at the company. After taking the lift to the fourteenth floor, we were showed to a boardroom with an incredible view overlooking London’s South Bank. We were given a presentation on the work that went into rebranding ITV, changing the logo and the whole style of the presentation of the ITV channel itself. This was hugely beneficial to those people in the group who had not yet decided on the career path that they wanted to pursue – we hadn’t realised that our study of Psychology and Design could be used to reinvent a television channel (for example consulting consumer groups and creating mood boards for focus groups)! After a short quiz about viewing figures and advertising (the prizes were an ITV mug, a DayBreak mouse mat and a Wispa bar!) we made our way from ITV to St James’s Square, where we met with the whole group at the East India Club. Once we were there we had tea, biscuits and a discussion about what we had learned about our subject choices and how that affected what we wanted to do after university. This trip has proven to be invaluable, as it has shown us which career paths the subjects we love could take us down in the years to come.'

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