Clearing Success Story – Ana-Marie, University of Surrey
Ana-Marie, from Romania, used Clearing to get onto a Biomedical Engineering course at the University of Surrey.
What circumstances led you to entering Clearing?
My Clearing experience was definitely one of the most stressful periods of my life, but the outcome is far better than I could have imagined. Despite obtaining maximum results in two of my three exams, for the third one, emotions got to me and my results weren’t as good as expected, closely missing my two offers.
Did you do any preperation or research before Results Day?
In Romania, results are released at the beginning of July and I hoped until the last moment that my results were going to get me into my chosen university. I knew that even if I needed to consider a Clearing option, I would have the time. I started researching as soon as I found out my results and I knew being accepted to my two choices couldn’t be guaranteed.
Did anyone help you through Clearing?
The Surrey Clearing team were quick to reply and was actually the first university to get back to me. They told me to constantly check the Clearing website for updates on the courses offered, as Biomedical Engineering was not available at that time. A day before the Clearing phone line opened, Surrey still had no spaces for Biomedical Engineering, so I called to apply for Electrical Engineering. I asked the operator halfway throughout the phone interview if there definitely wasn’t any available space for Biomedical, and luckily there was, and I changed my option on the spot. From then on, the whole process went smoothly.
How did you find out what courses were available?
I looked up all Biomedical Engineering options on UCAS and individually searched each university’s Clearing website to check the requirements of the courses offered and other similar courses I could choose. I emailed all the universities I found suitable and informed them I was interested in their course, attaching my grades, my personal statement and further recommendations from my teachers.
What was the main reason for choosing the course you chose?
I truly believe the purpose of engineers is to change the world we live in for the better. I chose Biomedical Engineering after being involved in engineering research all throughout my high school years. Research has helped me grow, both academically and personally, because I think it gave me a necessary safe-space where mistakes were sometimes better than doing everything right.
Did you attend a university or college Clearing Open Day? If so, did you find it useful?
I did not attend any Open Days or Clearing Open days. Looking back, I now see why they're useful as it's so much easier to make an informed decision if you actually see the place and experience what it would be like to study there.
Did you find a place to live easily?
Applying for university accommodation was a fast and self-explanatory process and I couldn't be happier with the place I called home for my first year. Manor Park is a modern complex of buildings and I was lucky enough to be the first one living in my room. It's safe, full of life and conveniently placed. The walk to university is a pleasant way to start your morning if you don't fancy taking the bus.
How has your time at university been? Have you enjoyed your course?
Surrey met and exceeded some expectations I didn’t even realise I had and helped me grow in ways I never imagined. We’ve been offered opportunities to get in contact with the engineering world, taking part at a weekend long Women in Engineering Conference or visiting a MedTech Exposition.
I’ve met and become friends with people from all sorts of backgrounds and formed friendships that will hopefully last for life. I’ve also fallen in love with a sport I never even considered and am now the president of both Archery and MechEng Society.
What would be your top tip for students in the lead up to Results Day?
Believe in yourself until the last moment, but if you're unsure of your performance, make sure you have back-up options prepared!