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Meet Our Brand Ambassador: Tiarra

In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of aligning your passion with your goals and aptitude. Let’s delve a little deeper into the topic with one of our brand ambassadors, Tiarra! Keen to study abroad in the UK, she talks a little bit about her motivation for joining us as a brand ambassador and how she is finding the admissions process so far. 

The conversation has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity. 

Why be a brand ambassador?

The process of applying to university is quite unknown to me so I feel like I need the help. 

Most people just wait for their A-level results, and then decide on where they’re applying based on that. But I have one friend who’s also thinking of getting external help because he wants to apply overseas but he’s unsure of how it’s going to work, for example, what to include in his academic portfolio. By being a brand ambassador, maybe I can raise awareness to services like these when people are on their university application journey.

Walk me through the process of doing the Strong Interest Inventory. 

I did it to get to know myself better. Initially, I was thinking of studying Economics or Finance but was a little unsure. Then, Sera [the academic manager] said, “Oh, why don’t you take the test first, and get to know yourself better to keep your options open?” 

And I thought it was quite interesting, learning more about the Holland codes, figuring out my inclinations, identifying if I were more of a social person or entrepreneurial. In the end the results were quite aligned to what I expected. So, I will still pursue something along the lines of economics or finance, but completing the SII helped me to confirm my decision. 

How are you finding Gateway+ so far?

Currently, I’m on the UCAS application pathway. I’ve completed two courses so far—about personal branding and why that’s important as well as the course on building an academic portfolio and what to include in that. And a course on the personal statement too. It’s quite insightful; the videos are also quite engaging because they also get you to reflect on questions throughout and I think that’s quite helpful. 

One key aspect for me is tackling my personal statement; although I have a lot of experiences, I learned that it’s not just about  just listing all of your experiences. What’s important is my key takeaways, and my reflections, so yeah, I think the platform’s very helpful. 

How are you balancing all your different responsibilities? 

So my academics is, of course, the most important thing for me right now. If I don’t get the grades, there’s no point in applying. So I’m working very hard on my studies. But at the same time, maybe three hours within the week, I’ll just watch videos on GATEWAY+ or I’ll be working on my personal statement. As long as I plan my time well and spread it across the days, then I think the workload isn’t that much of a big deal. 

How are you finding the hybrid learning environment of self-directed learning on GATEWAY+ and meeting with a coach one-on-one?

I think that balance is just right. I do my own thing and after that I can consolidate everything with Andrew, my coach, and he’ll give me very good advice. If not, I might be on the wrong track and I wouldn’t even know. The coach really helps a lot.

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