Gloria joins me for a chat on Zoom as she prepares to go back to Swansea University Medical School where she will begin her second year on the Graduate Entry Medicine programme. It is clear from her adaptability during this time just how driven she is to succeed in an ever-changing world so it is fitting that her path to pursuing a medical career has been unorthodox.
The former Bursary recipient credits her Bradfield experience as key to setting her on this particular journey. “It was only two years but it really did fly by. It was quite impactful on my life because I don’t think I would be where I am now if I hadn’t gone to Bradfield.”
Gloria joined in the Sixth Form, having boldly applied to Bradfield after recognising that her then school was unable to give her the necessary development opportunities she needed to meet her aspirations. It was not all new surroundings as she did have one familiar face close to her on campus. Her father is one of the legendary chefs in our catering team and having him around was something she and her friends loved.
“He would always give us the heads-up about the menus and made sure we had enough at meal times. Of course, there were times when he would get us extra desserts so naturally my friends and I loved having him around.”
Beginning as a day pupil, Gloria quickly decided to go full boarding to cram in as much of the Bradfield experience as possible. “When you arrive there’s so much going on that you end up getting involved in so many activities that you might not have had a chance to do before. Bradfield has given me so many life skills and time management is one of the biggest things I learned.”
Admittedly that is something she learned the hard way. By immersing herself too much in all Bradfield had to offer, Gloria ended up re-sitting all her AS Level exams in her Upper Sixth year, meaning she took 14 exams in one summer. She found however, that it was this kind of pressure under which she thrived, and points to the support she received thanks to the Bursary as key to delivering a strong set of results.
“The Bursary enabled me to do more than I ever thought was possible. It gave me the opportunity to try so many different things, finding new passions that I could carry on later in life and the level of academic and personal support was more than I could have hoped for.”