Six weeks before I was due to submit my options to Franklin, I was set on studying Maths and three sciences, with the hope it would give me a foot into technical courses at university. After a huge change of heart, I decided to broaden my options and study English, French, Economics and Maths.
This was a great decision, as I loved all four courses in my first year. It suited me perfectly to be analysing feminist poetry in the morning, conjugating verbs before lunch, and integrating exponential functions in the afternoon. Sadly I had to let one go - I dropped French moving into my second year, having developed an intention to apply for Economics at university.
Quite unbelievably, I passed through the interview process to get an offer to study Economics and Management at Oxford, and not without the unwavering support of all of my teachers, Economics and otherwise. Staff who didn’t even teach me helped out with my personal statement! I became good friends with a number of teachers at Franklin, to the point where I am still in touch with most, including meeting up annual football trips...
Fortunately I did well in my second year at Franklin, and moved on to St Hugh’s College, Oxford. Over three years I met some of my best friends, and had tons and tons of fun. Sadly I just missed out on my goals of drinking a pint in 50 Oxford pubs (43 made) and playing 10 sports for my college (a disappointing 3). However, I spent more time on the football pitch than in tutorials (not advised), learned how to tie a bow tie, and met some inspiring people.
Unfortunately academic commitments still exist, but I did benefit from some of the best tutoring in the world. In Economics, I studied some pretty hefty mathematical theory behind individual decision making, exploring how people weigh up risks, how businesses maximise profits, and how taxes and subsidies affect business behaviour. I also chose a module in Economics of Developing Countries, learning about how countries grow, and the effects of poverty, crime, mortality and fertility. On the management side, I took modules in Strategy, Accounting and Finance, plus a superb course in the philosophy of consumption, looking into the history of buying, why people want brands and questioning the morality of advertising to children.
All of this gave me a superb footing to move into business. I’m now working at a strategy consultancy in Oxford as an analyst. No two days are the same – we have projects for clients in industries like energy, packaging, barcodes, plastic pipes, clothes and all sorts of other stuff. My job involves combining data analysis on the computer (think Excel on steroids) with expert views from phone calls to answer the questions our clients have. The job has already taken me to beautiful places like Paris and Doncaster, and I look forward to what the next few years bring.
I am in no doubt that I would not be here if it wasn’t for my experience at Franklin. I will never forget the effort that the Careers Advisors put in to get me to Oxford, and the academic freedom in the classroom which gave me the confidence to challenge and learn. The extra-curricular activities, like Career Ready and debating, also gave me great things to talk about in interviews, as well as intellectual stimulus. I’m still great friends with people I met at Franklin, and it will always take pride of place on my CV.