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“Seeing that email come through was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced”

By 14th January 2021Course News

Former Driffield School student, Matthew Pinder was one of 5 Wyke students to recently receive the incredible news that his interview at The University of Oxford to study Law was a success.

We were keen to catch up with Matthew to hear all about his journey and what inspired him to apply to one of the top universities in the world.

What is your study programme at Wyke?

I study A Level History, A Level Government & Politics and A Level English Language.

What has been your favourite part of studying at Wyke so far?

I think my favourite part of studying at Wyke has been the people I have met. I’ve made some top mates, and had the pleasure of working under some exceptional teachers. Additionally, the College just has the right ambiance of achievement that you can’t help but work hard and strive for success as a student.

Have you taken part in any College enrichments?

In First Year I participated in the Football Team.

How did you feel when you heard the incredible news?

I honestly couldn’t believe it. Despite my ambition and confidence, I had managed to convince myself I wouldn’t be getting a place. Seeing that email come through was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced. I’m still on that high now, and still can’t believe what has happened.

What inspired you to apply to Oxford?

There are several factors that pushed me down this particular route. Firstly, I’ve always had a drive to push myself to be the best, and as Oxbridge are the elite institutions they were my ideal destinations. Also important was the guidance from my teachers who made me believe that despite any stigma, Oxbridge was within reach. And finally, its always nice to prove people wrong, and there’s nothing that silences doubters like being successful.

How did you find the application process and what did you do to prepare for it?

The application process was actually quite simple thanks to the support from Paul and the rest of the Flyers team. The guidance on personal statements were excellent, and we were constantly supported through the process.

The team were really supportive in helping me prepare for my entrance exam also (LNAT for Law). They helped me find practice tests online, and gave exam technique advice, that gave me a confidence going into the exam that I believe was fundamental to the success I enjoyed.

How did you feel your interview went on the day

I said as soon as I finished my interviews that I was happy with myself. I felt I had performed to my absolute best, and if I didn’t make the cut I could live with it because I had given it my best shot.

Can you remember a particularly tricky question that was asked by the University? Or any questions you feel you answered really well?

I actually think the trickiest question was directly asking me ‘Why law?’. It’s so difficult to articulate on the spot what makes you passionate about a subject, especially in an interview setting.

Do you have any advice for upcoming students who are considering applying to Oxbridge?

My advice would be to have no fear. Yes, Oxbridge are elite universities, but they are open to anyone. Don’t be afraid to give it your best, because even if you come up short the process will help you develop many skills that are important later on in life.

How has Wyke’s Oxbridge Programme helped you in your application?

The Oxbridge Program was a fantastic influence. They gave us constant support and information, and really emphasised that Oxbridge is for everyone rather than a privileged few. Additionally, Paul Hamer in particular was fantastic in helping my interview preparation, doing several mock interviews until my technique was as good as it could be. I would like to say a massive thank you to Paul for all his help.

Well done Matthew and thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us and give such great advice. We can’t wait to follow your journey throughout the year and beyond.