Hi, I’m Scarlett. I’m in year 13 at Chesham Grammar School and am hoping (if I get the grades!) to study dentistry at Leeds in September.
I never knew what I wanted to be, so rather than focusing on a career I decided to build up my CV, by completing my Gold DofE, NCS and NCS Youth Board, as well as volunteering at my dance school and taking on more extra-curriculars such as horse riding and yoga. I was able to develop my transferable skills, especially teamwork and leadership when becoming Vice House Captain at my school, and by leading a team for a couple of days on an expedition to Zambia. In Year 10, I went to Medic Mentor’s National Healthcare Weekend and was instantly hooked. Listening to doctors of all specialties talking about their careers was so fascinating and inspiring. I started to do medical work experience and in Year 12, I ended up in the maxillofacial department of a hospital. That was when I knew I wanted to do dentistry.
I knew how competitive medicine was, so when finding out that there were only 16 dental schools in the UK, I thought I’d never get a place in a million years. Then I remembered why I became interested in healthcare in the first place: Medic Mentor. I signed up for the Summer School and honestly, that was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Signing up for the Summer School meant I automatically became a Student Ambassador. This was where I saw quite how much Medic Mentor would support me through the application process. I went to the meetings alone, which was a really good decision as it made me push myself at getting involved with the tasks, introducing myself to mentors and making friends with my future colleagues! These sessions were invaluable and had I not been part of the Student Ambassador Programme I would have felt a lot more pressure doing my dental school interviews.
In the summer of Year 12 I went on the Medic Mentor Summer School. It is an intensive 6-day course but believe me, it was worth it. We looked at ethics, UCAT, BMAT, personal statements, panel interviews and MMI interviews. It felt like we were doing the whole application process in only six days! Having this level of preparation made me feel much more comfortable about the process through Year 13. Spending six days with other aspiring medics and dentists showed me I wasn’t alone. I have stayed in touch with my friends and mentors from the summer school and its lovely to hear how everybody’s getting along, as well as being able to ask for advice from people in a similar situation to me.
Over the course of Year 13, I did both the UCAT and BMAT as well as receiving three interview offers: Plymouth, Leeds, and Sheffield. Plymouth and Leeds were MMI whilst Sheffield was panel meaning I needed to prepare for both types of interviews. I had quite a busy year on top of studying for A-levels, so being able to organise my time and cope with stress was especially important. I also had a few wobbles, wondering whether dentistry was really the right course for me. I feel like this stemmed from not being confident in myself. But I persevered through this, stayed in touch with my mentors who were able to motivate me, did all three of my interviews, and ended up receiving all three offers!
Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has had a large impact my life, meaning I couldn’t take my A-levels, meet my friends, go to work or continue with my hobbies. To fill my time and to find out more about the virus, I signed up for the Medic Mentor Covid-19 Innovation Conference. Not only did this teach me a lot, but I was able try online teaching and conferences which was brilliant, and I thoroughly enjoyed making friends from all over the country. I also signed up for the Scholarship Programme but have since been fast tracked. I am really looking forward to my scholarship interview and continuing my journey with Medic Mentor for the foreseeable future.