Starting out as Outreach and Recruitment Officer

by Laura Tan on 22 June 2017

Hello! I’m Laura and I’ve recently joined as the temporary Outreach and Recruitment Officer at Lucy Cavendish College. I’m looking forward to continuing working here over the summer before returning to my Associate Lecturer in Psychology role at The Open University and part-time Doctorate in Education in September.

I am especially interested in helping students from ‘non-traditional backgrounds’ to get the opportunity to study at university level, regardless of their cultural background, family history of university, age or other perceived barriers. In my ‘normal job’, I have taught a wide variety of students: from full-time mums-of-four to professional footballers, students from Bedfordshire to Bosnia and ex-military so enabling people from all walks of life to study at university level is something I really care about!

I am looking forward to promoting the ways in which the Admissions team here can help and support mature, female students that may be thinking about applying to Cambridge and more specifically, to Lucy Cavendish. There are a number of ways in which students can meet the team such as at Open Mornings, Admissions Clinics and the team are open to individual students visiting too. More details can be found here. Dr Victoria Harvey (Admissions Tutor) and Gaby Jones (Admissions Officer) are both brilliant in their professional roles and are just the nicest people too, so do get in touch if you have questions!

Having applied to Cambridge for both undergraduate and postgraduate study and being both rejected and accepted (!), I know all too well about the sorts of myths that creep into an applicant’s head and how easy it might be to talk yourself out of it! I remember the imposter syndrome and the questions prior to moving in such as ‘Will I be good enough?’, ‘Will I fit in?’ and most importantly ‘Will I be happy here?’. I had the best year of my life studying for an MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology at a mature college, Wolfson College, from 2012-2013 and a lot to do with that was being somewhere that felt like a home away from home. I joined Tea Society at Trinity College, attended Chinese Calligraphy workshops at Corpus Christi and just fell in love with an environment where it’s OK to be a bit of a geek and love learning. This is something which has stuck with me and most likely led me to where I am now in lifelong learning/adult education!

This is only my second week of being at Lucy Cavendish but already I can feel parallels between Wolfson and here. There is a really open and friendly feel, everybody so far has been welcoming and willing to chat, the gardens are stunning and it doesn’t feel intimidating in the slightest which is nice for a gentle soul like me. There is certainly a lot to love about Lucy!

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