Rachael graduated from the University of Exeter in 2018 with BSc Medical Sciences with a professional training year. She is now in her second year of MSc Genomic Medicine at the University of Exeter. 

The University of Exeter is my local university. I wasn’t ready to move out of my family home, so choosing Exeter allowed me to stay at home, continue with my commitments as a tennis coach at my local club and save money. I was particularly worried about making friends at university as I was a non-drinker and would not have flat mates by living at home. I was concerned that I would not fit is as I didn’t match the ‘typical’ student persona often described. This however was not the case; I met many people like me and have made some amazing friends. 

My long-term goal has been to study for a PhD in diabetes research. The diabetes research centre in Exeter is world-leading and having the opportunity to work closely with the centre in my 3rd year was the main reason for choosing Exeter.

Before university I was incredibly shy. For my undergraduate course we were really encouraged to work in small groups and share knowledge which I found difficult to begin with, but I started to grow in confidence and I began to enjoy giving talks. My confidence also developed when I became a student ambassador; giving presentations in large lecture theatres and talking to prospective students about my experiences. My tutor has also been fantastic in providing the pastoral and academic support I needed when I was struggling in my personal life which affected my grades.