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News: September 2017
Ahead of the pack with Unistart

The first days of university can be a little overwhelming at times– you’re often in unfamiliar surroundings, trying to find new friends, the laundry room and your lectures, all the while managing your time, cash and workload. Think how much more relaxed and ready you would have felt if you’d been to Unistart, gaining the chance to hear from a bunch of people who’d done it all before, meet some of your peers and take part in a series of workshops to prepare you for some of the challenges ahead.

This September, Rare’s annual Unistart events brought together over 150 of the highest-achieving black school-leavers in the country across arts and humanities, social sciences and STEM subjects at two different locations in London. The arts and humanities students headed to Allen & Overy to be welcomed by Claire Wright, a Partner at the firm, before hearing from a Rare alumnus both on his own journey to becoming a lawyer and the supporting role Rare had played along the way.

Ben Moult, Graduate Recruitment & Trainee HR Assistant, remarked: “At A&O we aim to ensure that we play our part in raising aspirations and equipping young people to realise their potential. The Rare UniStart event is a great opportunity to help ambitious young people prepare for life as an undergraduate and excel in their studies. I was thoroughly impressed by the enthusiasm, drive and ability of all the students that attended the event.”  

For the second year running, our top-flight Unistart STEM students were hosted by Teach First for their own information-packed day. Both STEM and arts and humanities events included presentations on managing personal finances, finding the balance between academic and extra-curricular commitments and - especially for these top brains – talks on how to achieve a first class degree, given by Rare’s own Naomi Kellman (Schools, Data and Universities Manager) and Chetan Halai (Account and Product Manager).

Teach First’s Harriet Booth, Undergraduate Programmes Coordinator, Graduate Recruitment Division, said: ‘We at Teach First are really pleased to have hosted such a successful event and it was great to meet enthusiastic students. It is always a pleasure to work with Rare and we hope that everyone who attended is feeling more confident about starting university! We would love to continue to work with the students and hope to see some of them at our upcoming Taster Programme.’

Perhaps the liveliest parts of both days were the breakout sessions, organised by university so that students could get to know each other. Rare’s campus ambassadors were on hand to facilitate those groups, ensuring that these future undergrads heard from current students on getting the best out of all aspects of university life.

School-leaver Amy Brese, who is headed to the University of Cambridge to study Philosophy, said: “Unistart has given me a lot of confidence going into university as it offered many practical tips on how to make the best out of the experience. It had a really friendly and open atmosphere which made it so easy to network with other high-aspiring students. It is definitely an event not to be missed!” 

Keywords: Unistart, Teach First, Allen & Overy, university, freshers