Mehwish took part in the MAP programme during her A-levels at Holy Cross Sixth Form College in Bury and graduated from the pharmacy strand in 2016.*
She studied Biology, Chemistry and IT, and is now a first year Pharmacy student at The University of Manchester.
How did you hear about the MAP?
I was initially told about MAP by my sibling who had also taken part in the programme. A representative from the MAP team also came to my college to deliver a presentation about the programme, the application process and how the scheme worked. This was very helpful because I was able to ask questions specifically about the subject I wanted to apply to.
What did you enjoy the most about participating on the scheme?
Every single MAP event offered me an insight into the university experience and what was required to make it to university, whether it was a campus tour or communication skills workshop. I really enjoyed the academic assignment which allowed me to do a university-style essay on a subject of my choice and being partnered with an academic tutor for guidance meant I was getting early exposure to things like referencing, accessing library resources and research techniques. The University Life Conference was probably my favourite event. The Enquiry-Based Learning task gave me an insight into group-based learning which is how a lot of the teaching happens in Pharmacy. As part of the event, I had to present to other MAP students and staff which was challenging at first but with the support of my ambassador I was able to ace it! Throughout my time on MAP I made lots of new friends and came to realise that university isn’t all about hard work but also having fun.
How did the programme help you to get to where you are now?
Throughout my journey on MAP I developed lifelong skills which are now supporting me through my degree. Being on MAP gave me access to extra support from the MAP team in the form of Decision Manchester, which helped me tweak my application for when I actually applied to UCAS. It was really helpful knowing that I was guaranteed an interview before I had even sent off my application. The personal statement workshops and drop-in sessions meant I could get feedback on my UCAS application, which ensured I had a strong personal statement for applying not only to The University of Manchester but also for other universities.
What advice would you give others who are thinking of applying to the programme?
I am very lucky and grateful that I had the chance to be part of the programme, and I would recommend it to everyone. MAP played a big part in helping me get to where I am today. As mentioned, the scheme gives you a head-start for when you start university. It enables participants to develop individually, motivating them to apply to university, even when it might be challenging for competitive courses.
*Please note, the Pharmacy strand of MAP has been discontinued. If you wish to apply for Pharmacy through MAP, please apply through the General strand.