Univ Dates: 2008-2011
Degree: BA Medical Sciences
Degree Level: Undergraduate
Occupation: Junior Doctor, Core Surgical Training at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital
Biography: Alice rowed in the First VIII while studying at Univ. She was Captain of the Boat Club in 2011 as well as Captain of the Hockey club. She received a College prize in 2010. She has particularly fond memories of her two Univ Chalet trips whilst at Oxford. After moving to Green Templeton College for the clinical years of her medical degree (her BM BCh), Alice completed an elective in plastic surgery in Kampala, Uganda in 2014. Once qualified, Alice moved to Aberdeen for the Academic Surgical Foundation Programme. She has recently moved back to London to start Core Surgical Training in Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital. Since graduation, Alice has enjoyed being a junior doctor and found great satisfaction in medical education as well as her surgical training.
What were your expectations of Univ before you started?
Well I didn’t know a huge amount about it, but I remember having the Oxford pamphlet and trying to pick between the colleges. My brother was at Pembroke at the time and he gave me a bit of a sense of what the different colleges were like. I was looking for somewhere that had quite a good sporting reputation, and that wasn’t too big – I wanted to be able to get to know everyone.
I narrowed it down to a small group and then turned up to the Open Day not realising that we had to book open day slots! Univ was one of the first colleges that I went to and they were so friendly and welcomed me in immediately. The student helpers showed me around and it was just such a welcoming atmosphere that I immediately applied.
Do you remember how it felt when you found out that you had been offered a place?
Yes and I still think that’s one of the best days of my life; I know that sounds a bit clichéd, but I still remember waking up and being able to check my exams online and finding out that I had the grades I needed. And then running to wake my parents at six in the morning!
Did Univ live up to expectations?
Definitely! Maybe not from day one and that first term is such a whirlwind and there are so many people and the way of learning is different and the expectations are so much higher – it’s all independent learning as opposed to the more spoon-fed approach at school.
At school it feels like learn the text book, pass the exam; but get to Univ and suddenly so much more is expected of you. You have to formulate your own ideas and you have that time to sit and think and do that in the fantastic library. That unadulterated love of learning is so great at Univ.
Also that sense of coming home every time I come back to College has always stayed with me.
How did Univ shape you?
They were hugely formative years at university. You come from school thinking you are a fully-formed person and actually you are nowhere near. The change from first year to graduation is enormous and Univ made me so much more confident in myself; really gave me the confidence to feel that I could do anything. It was such a fostering environment – through encouragement, through work, through always being pushed to achieve the best. We had great tutors…
We worked hard for what we wanted and had fantastic times even when we failed at first attempt; that friendship and teamwork is something I’ll never forget.
Who inspired you at Univ?
Dr Dorrington was my main tutor and he was great with all his eccentricities. I was quite heavily involved in the Boat Club so lots of the older years that I met through that were also quite inspiring. Other years do mix, some groups more than others, but doing a sport is the best way in. The Boat Club brought everyone together regardless of year.