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Student stories

Students on the SMF programme gain a wide range of exciting experiences, either in their home city or through one of the residentials. We asked three of our students to share some of their experiences with you:

Felicity, Politics

Being a member of the Social Mobility Foundation has opened up many doors for me, and provided me with experiences that I will never forget. Initially, when I joined, I was daunted by all the new faces, and I was not yet sure how to ‘network’. However, after only a few weeks as an SMF participant, I had learnt how to be confident and how to promote myself as an individual. I regularly receive emails from SMF about work-placement opportunities, university visits and workshops. The opportunities that SMF can provide are astounding. Recently, I was able to go on a tour of 10 Downing Street and, in the same day, visit The Spectator magazine’s office to talk with the editor, Fraser Nelson. This was a brilliant day; I learnt so much more about politics and journalism, and I gained a real insight into how our country is run. As well as learning a lot on this trip, I met some very interesting people and made friends with fellow SMF students. SMF have provided me with so many opportunities and I hope to be able to give something back in the future.

Maymunah, Medicine

The Social Mobility Foundation has provided the primary stepping stones to help me establish a successful career in Medicine.

The biggest highlight of my SMF journey was observing open brain surgery whilst shadowing acute and chronic care doctors at Salford Royal Hospital. Reflecting on my experiences in a clinical setting, enabled me to identify and understand the essential qualities behind being a good doctor: communication, empathy and resilience. In particular, witnessing the multidisciplinary team in action in surgery, reaffirmed my determination to become an emergency doctor.

 

maymunah

Maymunah at an SMF workshop

Alongside providing insights into working life, the SMF invited me to workshops and discussion groups with inspiring professionals, which enhanced my ability to discuss topical issues. Besides medicine-specific workshops, the SMF has supported my application to prestigious universities by arranging for Oxbridge subject-tutors to provide specialist advice on tailoring a successful academic profile.

Initially, the prospect of applying to Medicine was incredibly daunting, especially considering the low rate of higher education progression from young people from my background. Regardless of whether I am successful applicant, the nurture I have received from the SMF team has moulded me into a confident, ambitious and passionate individual. It is proof that social mobility is key to unlocking a brighter future.

Katie, Banking & Finance

Coming from a low income background, I have had little confidence in my ability to get to a good university. I would be the first person in my family to apply, making me feel lost about the whole process. Not only this, but I had practically no way of getting work experience in the financial sector, the field I was hopeful to go into, before the SMF.

Joining the SMF was a game changer for me. The belief they had in my ability encouraged me to reach my full potential. The support they provided me with applying to university has undoubtedly made my application for Chemistry, a much stronger one. Not only this, but they have also given me the opportunity to attend an internship at the well-known firm, J.P. Morgan. This was without a doubt one of my best experiences so far. This both gave me insight into banking as a career and dispelled my fears that my background would disadvantage me in achieving a role at such a renowned company. The experience also showed me that despite my reservations before the internship, women are just as able as men to succeed in the financial environment.

If you would like to mentor a young person like Felicity, Maymunah or Katie, or would like to work with SMF to help more students like them, please do contact us: employers@socialmobility.org.uk

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