John Moran Educational - Trust Making financial awards to support the entry into higher education
 
Student Profiles

The Trust has made awards to over forty two deserving students from the Merseyside region since it was set up in 2003. Here’s more about what these students did with their awards, and what it meant to them:

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Profile twenty six

Many things can be taken away from you, your job, your house and even the clothes on your back, but the one thing no one can ever take from you is your education. Your education is priceless and with it you can do just about anything.

It is because of this belief in the value of education that I have strived to obtain the highest grades in all of my subjects. I excelled in all my AS levels (Maths, Further Maths, Applied ICT and Applied Business) by achieving A grades in all of them. I believe this is because I put hours of work and patience into achieving these grades.

Such hard work and patience does come at a price, though. This is because it makes it very difficult to determine when I will have free weekends, which means that I have been unable to get a part-time job. I feel fortunate that I have  the full £30 per week worth of EMA, as this has allowed me to visit various universities on their open days which I would not have been able to do otherwise.

Going to such open days helped aid my decision to go to the University of Manchester to further my education. This is because it provides an excellent undergraduate Mathematics programme. Also the vibrant social life and atmosphere in Manchester made me feel it was the best place to me to spend the next few years.

The only major problem I face is obtaining the finance to ensure that I can cover the costs of my time in university. My mother has been made redundant through the recession of 2008 and is a single parent with two sons, including myself. It is because of this I believe it to be unlikely that she will be able to provide me with any substantial financial contributions during my time at university.

It is because of this that I decided to ask the John Moran Education Trust (JMET) for help. By giving me the grant, they have made it easier for me to pay for my accommodation costs as well as allowing to purchases any books or equipment I will need in subsequent years.

It is because of this that the JMET trustees have my greatest thanks for all their help. I do not feel that I would be able to fully express my gratitude for the award, as I know that it will unlock numerous opportunities for me now and for many years to come

It has been a long year here at the University of Manchester. I’m here for a good four years on the Maths degree. They say the first year is easy, but it really isn’t, especially doing a mathematics degree. I think I’ve got several calluses from the amount of writing I’ve done, but when you’re doing a subject you love doing that doesn’t seem to matter.

The major issue when I came to Manchester cropped up with my accommodation. I wasn’t given my first choice, so I ended up with the most expensive option on my list of preferred choices for accommodation. By the time I fully grasped the situation; I’d already moved in and had been there for a couple of weeks.

My choice was difficult – either I moved out and forced myself to reintegrate with a new bunch of people, which would be very awkward and tedious to do or stay at St Anselm’s Hall.

I decided to stay at St Anselm’s Hall and I felt it was the best decision I could have made. Not only have I had the opportunity to make many friends of various backgrounds and cultures, but I have also been able to take up opportunities not available in any other hall.

These opportunities include the massive social events my hall does every couple of months, being on the library committee and having a say in the kind of books it makes available to students and embracing the traditional hall experience.

My extra-curricular activities extend beyond my hall as well. I often help out during departmental open days as a visit day helper and participate in a variety of outreach programmes done by the University of Manchester’s maths department. I am also a member of the maths, chess and gaming societies respectively.

None of my first year would have been possible without John Moran’s Educational Trust though. Their help was a deciding factor in whether I should or should not stay at St Anselm’s Hall and this had a knock on effect on everything else.

Had I not stayed at St Anselm’s Hall I would have been forced to move further out of campus. This would have made owning a bicycle redundant and I would have been forced to take a bus everywhere, costing more money than it was worth.

Moreover, I gained a lot of skills here at St Anselm’s Hall, which I feel I would not have gained anywhere else. This would have affected my participation in extra-curricular activities across the board, not just in my accommodation.

It is because of this that I must say a big thank you to all the trustees on the board of John Moran’s Educational Trust, because I couldn’t have got this far without them.

Second year has been quite a tough one for me. I’ve come to the realisation that doing four years of mathematics is not quite the right choice for me, so I’ve tried to realign my future career path in light of this.

This has meant spending a very large amount of time searching for internships and work experience, trying to find some way to differentiate myself from the thousands of graduates who are already searching for jobs. People keep reminding me that it’s very competitive out there, especially for internships, but that doesn’t really matter to me, all I know is that I want one.

On the plus side though, I’ve managed to secure a mentor through the Manchester Gold programme. Hopefully I’ll be able to secure some mock interviews and case study practice for when I start looking at graduate schemes. Also, I managed to get onto a one week work experience programme with PKF. So things might just go my way when third year comes around.

Combining the internship search with the difficult nature of my course, you can see why things might be hectic to say the least. Mathematics is no slouch and when the going gets tough you realise why people respect it so much. My hope is that I can keep on improving and come out with the best grade I can when all is said and done.

On a more positive note, I outperformed myself compared to first year. Considering how well I did back then this is quite a relief as time management this year has not been easy to say the least. I’m in a good position for third year and I hope the modules I’ve chosen do me some justice.

Finally, problems at home have cropped up. My mother is struggling financially and emotionally so I’ve had to go back home a few times to make sure things are okay. This is made worse by the fact there has been a death in the family and the burden of dealing with it has fallen on her shoulders.

Fortunately, I have been able to support her as much as I can with what I’ve saved up. I feel that the John Moran Educational Trust has helped me a lot in this respect. I think that staying on my course and helping my mother get through this very difficult period would not have been possible without their help.

Also, in a world which is constantly changing, it’s nice to have a bit of consistency. JMET has been with me since the beginning of my journey through university and hopefully it will be there until the very end. I can’t express how grateful I am for their support.

Third year has been quite a rollercoaster ride for me. Picking up at the end of second year, I hadn’t managed to secure an internship which left me in a pretty weak position when looking to secure graduate vacancies as I only had a bit of work experience.

As things turned out the PKF work experience I obtained last year was in vain. I actually began moving away from accountancy in the end. Doing an ACA or ACCA (the appropriate accountancy qualifications) for three years sounded pretty daunting as it meant at least a dozen more exams on top of the ones I had already done.

In view of this, over the last year, I’ve been trying to move towards technology based roles. I’ve always been interested in technology, but was always anxious about going into that particular area as I never really felt I had the background for it.

Fortunately, towards the end of the year, I was put in touch with a graduate recruiter from the Graduate Recruitment Bureau (GRB). She got me interested in the idea of digital marketing and how it might fuse my mathematical background and interest in technology. It was all quite intriguing.

I was then put me through a barrage of presentations and exercises, designed to see if I was a right fit for the company. In the end, it turned out that I was so in June 2013 I was offered a position as an advertising operations assistant at MediaCom North situated in Deansgate Locks, Manchester.

As for other news, I’ve been learning how to cook. I always had a sneaking suspicion that I was not eating properly and introducing myself to the neighbours on my street has meant monthly trips to Costco to buy food which tastes great and is good for me. That said – every time I go to Costco, part of me feels like fainting when I see the bill.

To be honest, I need to spend much more time working on my culinary skills if I’m to ever get any good at cooking. I’ve got a few cook books, some good pans and ran my first dinner party called “Kam Dine With Me”. So things look like they’re going pretty well as far as I can tell.

In terms of academic performance, this year has been just fine. I’ve performed well – averaging 89% overall, which leaves me with a first class honours degree in mathematics from The University of Manchester. I’m a bit miffed at the fact I didn’t get 90% overall, but I know I’ve done extremely well for someone in my position.

Finally, I’ve been financially sound this year and there are fortunately no problems to speak of. That said – I know my mother is not in a financially good position, so I’ve tried to help her out the best I could.

When I started university, I always feared I might run out of money and I knew that my mum would be unable to help me out financially. With the grant from the JMET trustees, I’ve been able to sleep a bit easier at night and help my mother when she needed it. So for that you guys have my thanks.

Once again, I’d like to thank all the trustees for their support. I realise that I’m extremely fortunate to be part of something so special which has enriched the lives of people whose circumstances are similar to my own. I’d like to think that I’d be able to keep in touch with JMET in the many years to come.