Isobel Hettrick – MTST

I grew up near Guildford in Surrey. I’ve always been interested in current affairs, and studying PPE was the obvious choice for me. I was initially put off Oxford by what I’d read in the papers, but I changed my mind after visiting. When I first walked into Somerville I immediately loved the friendly and open atmosphere. Closing the gap in educational attainment is hugely important to me, so the fact that Somerville was founded to give opportunities to women and that it continues to support access work was a perfect fit. I’ve worked with University access events and gone back to my own Sixth Form College to give a presentation about studying at Oxford. This year, I’ll return to my secondary school to talk to students there about university and Oxbridge. I’m looking forward to giving back to a community which helped lay the foundation for my recent achievements, and I hope I can inspire students to pursue educational opportunities which they might otherwise think are out of their reach.

I’ve enjoyed my academic work so much, especially studying British Political History since 1900 and seeing the impact of the past on current political issues. I’ve also had the chance to develop other interests, and as JCR Sports Officer I helped to organize the first Somerville Sports Day to give students and fun and inclusive outlet for their energies! I’ve volunteered in a local school, helping to run after-school revision sessions. I’ve also completed an internship as a Learning Assistant at the South Oxfordshire Food and Education Academy. During the summer, I had a ten-week internship at the Financial Conduct Authority and I’ve gained a conditional offer for their 2018 Supervision Graduate Training Programme.

I’ve learned a huge amount and been encouraged to push myself, and the Thatcher Development Programme has helped me increased my confidence and given me practical help with applications and networking. Having a Michael Bishop Foundation Thatcher Scholarship has maximized my opportunities and helped me focus on my long-term goal of having a beneficial impact on the world.