As the Seren Network enters its third year, we’ve been able to catch up with some of the Network’s talented former students to help answer some of your own burning questions about studying at university.
This week, we speak to former Seren student Elliott Manwaring, a medicine student at Cambridge.
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m 18 and originally from Pembrokeshire. I went to Ysgol-y-Preseli and was part of the Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire Seren hub.
What are you doing at university?
I’m now in my second term at University of Cambridge, in Peterhouse College, where I’m studying medicine.
I applied to study medicine at Cambridge because of the scientific emphasis placed on the course. I felt that it would set me up to make a much better doctor if I had a strong grounding in the basic medical sciences.
Applying to Cambridge was the best choice I’ve ever made. The campus is such an amazing environment to be in, and the tutors really help encourage me to learn more about my subject.
I would definitely recommend applying to a university where you enjoy the atmosphere and environment.
Having other people around you who are just as keen to learn is really inspiring.
How did Seren help you in your journey to university?
Seren hosted a university access day in Carmarthen where I was able to speak to several universities about applying to study medicine, asking them what the course entailed. It was really helpful in terms of understanding the application process and the structure of each course.
I spoke to an admissions tutor from Cambridge University who motivated me to look further into their course. He urged me to apply after seeing I was passionate about studying on a traditional medical course and explained that it was something that was genuinely achievable, as long as I worked hard enough for it.
That was the day that I really set my heart on studying at Cambridge.
I can’t thank the Seren Network enough for providing such opportunities to me, without it, I doubt I would have applied and I would never be where I am today.
What’s your advice for current students applying for university?
A-levels are a lot of work and everyone finds them tough. Doing small, manageable study sessions is the best way to get things done.
My other main piece of advice would be to make sure that you’re really passionate about the subject you’re applying for.
To get into a top university, admissions tutors want to see that you genuinely love your subject. Allow some time every week to have a read around your subject, to get a feel for what is outside of your A-level syllabus.
Once you’ve found the subject you love, use it as motivation to work hard to get to where you want to go.
I’d never have believed I’d be where I am today, but because of my motivation to get to that end goal. I’m here, and you could be too!
What are your goals for the future?
In the short term, I’m hoping to complete my pre-clinical training in medical school and take an intercalated degree in physiology in my third year. I hope to take part in some medical research projects over the summer and get involved with some medical aid work in third world countries.
In the long term, I hope to finish my training in medical school and work towards becoming a consultant surgeon, while having a role as a fellow at a university to help teach medical students in the future.