I work in the relatively new and very fast paced world of social media and web content. I’m employed by a first party Xbox video games studio to run their social channels (nine channels over six platforms) and create content for their website. I also help plan and execute marketing campaigns, write scripts for and produce marketing videos and provide the studio with a direct route to their fans and customers.
I studied Theology and Religious Studies at college, not the most obvious degree for what I’ve ended up doing. My role as Entertainments Officer on the JCR provided me with valuable experience that I still draw on today! After I graduated I returned to college as a member of staff, a very strange feeling indeed. I became the college’s Schools Liaison Officer for a year. The role gave me a wide variety of skills and experience. I stayed in the role for 12 months then moved to the Midlands with my other half (now soon to be husband).
After a few months of fruitlessly applying for jobs my heart wasn’t in I got some freelance writing work through a friend. I really enjoyed the work and began taking on more and finding other places to write for. When my grandfather offered – so kindly – to fund an MA in Journalism to extend my career options I was thrilled. The 12-month course gave me lots of real world experience and reawakened my passion for learning. Within five weeks of finishing up teaching for the course I was starting my current role. Working for Microsoft is fantastic. I get to work in an industry that combines creativity with technology and offers up amazing opportunities. I used to use social media to market events and stay connected whilst I was a student and now I’ve made a career of it!
I’ve continued to maintain a connection with college. It was – and will remain – a very important place to me. I’ve offered career advice through the Gateway Programme, become a year rep for the Alumnae Office and signed up to donate to the Rosemary Murray Fund through a telephone campaign. Help from the fund eased a lot of financial pressure on me during my second and third year so I wanted to give the same help to a current student. My experiences at college have helped shape me so it’ll always be a part of my life.
Iwasn’t going to Cambridge. I knew that I wanted to study Theology and it kept being suggested that I consider Oxbridge, but my GCSE grades, whilst good, didn’t match what I had been predicted, and the idea of Oxbridge seemed out of reach. Eventually, I agreed to go to an Open Day at the Cambridge Divinity Faculty, more to prove that it wasn’t for me than as an actual consideration. By the time I got home that evening, I’d fallen in love with everything that Cambridge and the course had to offer.
I began filling out the preliminary application forms at the end of my lower sixth year, but then received my AS Level results. As with my GCSEs, my exams hadn’t matched up to what I had been predicted or achieved in class, and I knew that I had no chance of making it to Cambridge with those grades. My teachers were incredibly supportive as I re-sat exams and worked on my exam technique in order to ensure that my A Level results were better, and I chose to take a gap year rather than to apply to different universities that year.
With my A Levels, I earned the grades to apply to Cambridge. Although I knew that other people applying would have better overall grades, I had the chance to aim for the goal that I had been pursuing for two years. My gap year was spent working and volunteering for various local organisations, and every place that I worked in had Cambridge graduates who only fuelled my desire to go to Cambridge when they spoke about their time here. After the interviews, I received a letter to say that I had been placed in the winter pool. It was Murray Edwards, a college that I had never heard of before, who rang me up that weekend to offer me a place. My Mum screamed so loudly when I put the phone down that our dog ran and hid in the next room.
Now that I am halfway through my undergraduate course, I know first-hand that the hard work that went into getting into Cambridge doesn’t stop with an offer, but that it is all worth it. Having discovered a love of the Old Testament and had the chance to learn Hebrew, I wish to pursue study in this area beyond undergraduate level. I am incredibly privileged to be studying a subject that I love and learning from some of the best academics in the world. Every essay that I write and supervision that I have refines the way that I think and approach issues, and it is always worth wading through the endless reading lists in order to discover that proverbial light bulb moment. Being placed in the pool during applications turned out to be the best possible course of events, since I was chosen by a college that is welcoming and continually supportive, providing not just a college but a community to live and study in. It was through Murray Edwards that I realised that I really could be going places.