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When did you attend Reigate College and what did you study?

I was a student at Reigate College between 2000 and 2002, having previously been at Reigate School. I did four A Levels: Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Further Maths and then went on to do a Dentistry degree at Newcastle University.

How did the college help you to get a place at university?

The excellent teaching and support I received from the College helped me get through the application process and achieve the grades I needed to get onto a good Dentistry course. Dentistry is really competitive and there are always far more people who apply than there are places, so being well prepared is incredibly important.

For me, College acted as a useful bridge between structured learning at school and the more independent style of learning required at university.

What advice would you give new students?

My advice to any 16 year old starting at Reigate is to make the most of the opportunities offered by the College and tap into the help and support offered by the staff. Everything is set up for you to reach your potential. I’m sure doing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, plus a variety of other extra activities helped my university application stand out. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award is still highly regarded by universities and employers as it demonstrates that you can achieve something challenging that isn’t just about passing an exam.

Did you do anything alongside your college studies?

I helped with a Beaver Scout group (6 – 8 year old boys) for two years while I was at College and had a Saturday job at a local chemist, which brought me into contact with a whole variety of people. I also worked as a dental nurse at my local dentist during his Saturday morning surgeries, so I knew exactly what I was letting myself in for when I decided to become a dentist!

Victoria Pelham

Left Reigate College: 2002

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