I always wanted to be a vet and when my mum asked me what I wanted to do, I explained that I wanted to go out and work with the cheetahs and help stop them going extinct. She told me, “that’s not what a vet does, you want to be a Wildlife Conservationist”.
I had a lot of work experience in the field. I did my work experience at London Zoo and Brighton Sealife Centre, which was a really hands on experience. But I didn't get the grades I expected, so I didn’t get onto the courses I applied for. I had looked at Suffolk before, but I thought the grades were too high for me. I phoned up anyway and I managed to get a place. When Suffolk called me up and offered me a place, it went from being the worst day to the best day.
I looked at the modules for Suffolk and they were really good. I follow this conservationist on YouTube who films videos about animals in the Amazon rainforest and I came in to find he was one of our lecturers!
Accommodation was a big thing for me because I live in South London so commuting wasn't an option. Luckily, Suffolk had several rooms left, so that was easy enough.
I love my course; I can’t fault it. It’s amazing, there’s stuff that took me ages to understand at A Level, but my lecturer says it in five minutes and I understand it.
On my course, some people want to work with water, electricity, and green energy and others want to work with birds in England, whereas I want to work with cheetahs. They really encourage you to choose your own path, so you’re not being told that there’s only one job you can do at the end.
If you're going through Clearing, my advice is to just be confident and really sell yourself. Tell them about all the work experience you’ve done and how hard working you are. Talk about your story, like if you had a bad day on the exam and if you didn’t get the grades you were expecting, be honest and they will understand.