On Wednesday 29th June, the LVI welcomed Kate Filimon, Widening Participation and Student Recruitment Officer for the University of Exeter, to St Mary’s to deliver a workshop on preparing and writing a personal statement.

Kate’s expertise and Higher Education perspective was clearly evident as she explained the things that Russell Group Universities such as Exeter were looking for. This ranged from being able to identify an inspiration for a subject and how that had been developed and built upon to demonstrate the student’s passion for that subject and why they wanted to study it. Kate was particularly adept at getting the girls to think about their own experiences and how they might be relevant and valuable to a personal statement as well as stressing the fact that this was the girls’ opportunity to sell themselves – particularly as most of them would not be interviewed – and for them therefore not to be too modest when talking about and describing their achievements and experiences.

Perhaps most valuable was the easy and user-friendly manner in which Kate broke down the various elements of a Personal Statement and made the girls feel as if they were already on the right track with their thoughts and efforts so far.

Kate concluded with a brief Q & A before being bombarded by girls wanting to ask questions on a one-to-one basis. We thanked her very much for driving from Exeter to visit us and for her invaluable input into a daunting process.