Harry took part in the MAP programme during his A-levels at Ashton Sixth Form and graduated from the general strand in 2014.
He studied History, Biology and Maths which led him to apply and be accepted onto the Ancient History course at The University of Manchester. He now works within the University’s Division of Communications and Marketing as a social media coordinator.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do after college so I was studying a bit of a mix of A-levels, but I eventually decided to study Ancient History at The University of Manchester. If it wasn’t for MAP I wouldn’t have got into the University, partly due to my reduced grade offer, but also because of the invaluable academic support offered by the MAP team during my A-levels. Since graduating, I now work at the University in Communications and Marketing, a job I love! It is strange looking back to think about how much MAP has enabled me to do and shaped my career since.
How did you hear about the MAP?
I heard about MAP while I was at college from teachers, but ignored them for quite a while as it sounded like too much effort. I eventually made a step to take part in MAP and realised that, although effort was involved, it was so worth it, and I made some great friends during the programme.
What did you enjoy the most about participating on the scheme?
Actually getting a real feel for university life was really enjoyable. The academic help and the friends I made were a great support throughout my A-levels, but I felt motivated because I’d experienced a bit of university life and it made me excited to get there. As part of the scheme I had talked to current students at the University to learn about real university life, and experiencing life on campus made it feel a little more real. The staff and ambassadors involved in MAP activities all seemed incredibly passionate about MAP too, which created a great atmosphere whenever we’d all meet up – although there was academic work involved, it never felt too much of a chore.
How did the programme help you to get to where you are now?
One of my favourite memories of MAP was when I had to present to a large group as part of the University Life Conference. Although I’d made friends and knew lots of people in the room, it was still something I wasn’t comfortable with as I hadn’t done anything similar before. However the support from the MAP team made me feel like I’d really overcome something and gave me that added bit of confidence. As part of my job now I present to groups all the time, so I utilise the public speaking skills I acquired through MAP most days.
Academically I was struggling at college prior to undertaking MAP, but managed to pull up my grades and make it into my first choice university. I really feel like MAP was influential in this, teaching me particular revision techniques and essay writing skills from those who have already made it to the university I wanted to go to. It was also through MAP that I decided I wanted to study History instead of Maths or Biology, after doing an independent project, delving into the research at the University library. As soon as I started studying at the University I realised I’d made the right decision to study Ancient History.
What advice would you give others who are thinking of applying to the programme?
I was late in getting involved in MAP due to pure laziness, so just get involved. I’m still friends with people who undertook MAP with me and I went on to be a MAP Ambassador – so even if it’s just to make a few mates to go to the football with it’s definitely worth getting involved.