Course Guidance: Management student gets down to business

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The Independent Online
Candidate: Alison Taylor, 19, from

Ripon, N Yorks

NEEDED: ABB in English, geography,

maths, for management science at Bath



NOW: 1st year on, BSc in organisation

and management studies at Edge Hill

College of Higher Education, Lancs.

'THE MORNING the first PCAS vacancies were published I got in the car with my Mum and Dad and drove to Edge Hill. I'd been pretty devastated when the results came out. I went through all sorts of stages; I thought I'd take a year out and reapply, the school suggested I try a Geography degree. But I wanted something business-oriented, so when Edge Hill was the only general management course with places left, we went straight there.

'As soon as I drove through the gates I knew I wanted to come. I hadn't thought about applying to colleges. I did apply to two polys, but they were a long way from home and I decided I didn't want to go that far. Edge Hill was small and rural and the grounds were full of sculpture and greenery. It just had character.

'I went into the reception, waved my Independent in front of them and said: 'I want to go on this course'. So they phoned up the course tutor. I think he was quite impressed with me turning up. If I had just rung up, I would have been just another form on his desk.

'He asked me where else I had applied, why I wanted to come on the course, what I got for my GCSEs and a bit about my background. He said he was 95 per cent certain he would take me, but he had to check my forms and the headmaster's report. I was elated. We went out to lunch in Ormskirk and then drove home.

'I'm really glad I came here. The course is very vocational. There are 48 of us and we have lectures together, but it's not like going into a lecture theatre with 300 people. I chose a small school and I much prefer it. The tutors have drop-in advice sessions and I never feel I'm just one of the crowd. 'The only drawback is that everyone thinks I'm doing teacher training - if they've heard of the college at all. It used to be a teacher training college; now it's 50/50. But the degree I get will be from Lancaster University, so I don't feel I've dropped my standards at all.'