Interviews-KateBeard

Kate Beard
Plant Science DPhil (2008-)

a) What is your academic background?
I studied biology at Jesus College Oxford, and came to Worcester when I started my Dphil in Plant Science in 2008.

b) Why did you choose Worcester?
I wanted to experience life in a different college after my undergrad, and as one of Oxfords “best kept secrets”, Worcester wasn’t a college a knew very much about. Although I have to say the reputation for beautiful grounds and excellent food in hall might also have had something to do with it!

c) What were your first impressions of Worcester/Worcester MCR?
That it was a very friendly place (and that it had amazing gardens – very important for a plant scientist!)

d) What is the best thing about Worcester/Worcester MCR?
Definitely the people in it. Worcester MCR has a lovely atmosphere, and Ive had some really great times here.

e) What activities and societies did you get involved with around Oxford?
I row for the college 1st eight, and I was also president of the MCR committee. So I’m definitely a fully committed Worcester-ite!

f) What advice would you give to prospective students?
To get involved in the MCR and college, particularly during freshers week as its a great way to meet new people. And to apply – you definitely wont regret it!

Interviews-Corey

Corey Johnson
English DPhil (2010-)

a) What is your academic background?
From Hilo, Hawaii. My undergraduate degree is in English and American Literature and Language, from Harvard. I graduated in 2007, spent two years in Japan as a JET, translator, and live-in disciple in an Aikido dojo before making the jump over to England this past October. I finished the MSt in English and American Studies from the English Faculty with an emphasis in postcolonial studies, and I hope to begin the DPhil this fall.

b) Why did you choose Worcester?
Worcester has absolutely stunning gardens, a great sports pitch, guaranteed on-site housing for two years as a graduate student, and (for me) a relevant college advisor in my field (Dr. Bradshaw) who has proven to be great to talk with.

c) What were your first impressions of Worcester/Worcester MCR?
On the MCR: Both the building and the people that frequent it are great. Very social, doesn’t take itself too seriously.

d) What is the best thing about Worcester/Worcester MCR?
Graduate students come here from all over the world; going to hall with members of the MCR is always a treat. Hall is one of the best things about Worcester, and Worcester’s hall is one of the best at Oxford. The college itself is a bit removed from the cluttered cluster of colleges near the Bodleian, its grounds never feel crowded, and there are a slew of great pubs nearby.

e) What activities and societies did you get involved with around Oxford?
Worcester MCR, Oxford Aikikai, occasional soccer player and big fan of punting on the Cherwell.

f) What advice would you give to prospective students?
Be practical when choosing a college. A given college may be pretty, but if you’re housed two miles away in Summertown you’ll never be at college to appreciate it anyway.

Interviews-Theo

Theodore Bluche
Computer Science MSc (2009-10)

a) What is your academic background?
After my Baccalauréat, I studied advanced maths and physics in Lille. Then, I entered a French engineering school, Supélec, where I studied Computer Science, Electronics and Signal Processing.

b) Why did you choose Worcester?
When I applied for Oxford University, I had been asked to choose a College. From France, it is not very easy; I had to look at all possible Colleges on the Internet. I chose Worcester for the cheap food and accommodation, and because it was close to the city centre. However, if I had to choose a College now, I would choose Worcester because of the friendly people, the beautiful gardens, the sport fields inside the College, and also because the graduate accommodation is very close to the College (15 seconds!).

c) What were your first impressions of Worcester/Worcester MCR?
I arrived in Oxford before everyone else last summer, because I had to attend an English course. When I first entered the College, I went to the lodge, and told them I’ll be studying in Oxford. I was very surprised when the porter stood up and shook my hand saying “Hi, I’m Mark, welcome to Worcester” (we do not expect that in France!). So my first impression of Worcester was of having “friendly people”. Then I couldn’t believe what I saw. Beautiful gardens, a lake, and a perfect football pitch… almost in the city centre. When I first entered the MCR a month later, I was welcomed by some very nice people. Most of the students I met this first night are now good friends of mine.

d) What is the best thing about Worcester/Worcester MCR?
Definitely the sport fields. The food is very good as well, better than the food in French Universities. Also, the MCR is a cool place; it sometimes feels like a second home, especially because of the huge TV, the bar, and the table football.

e) What activities and societies did you get involved with around Oxford?
I rowed for Worcester. I played football in the MCR team. I also went for some ice hockey for beginners.

f) What advice would you give to prospective students?
Join Worcester and enjoy Oxford. The student life here is amazing.

Interviews-BethStone

Beth Stone
Environmental Policy MSc (2009-10)

a) What is your academic background?
I studied English at Boston University and came directly to Oxford after graduating for an MSc in Environmental Policy.

b) Why did you choose Worcester?
The sports pitches/tennis courts in the grounds are outstanding and the MCR has a vibrant social life.

c) What were your first impressions of Worcester/Worcester MCR?
Worcester was beautiful and the MCR was friendly.

d) What is the best thing about Worcester/Worcester MCR?
The people!

e) What activities and societies did you get involved with around Oxford?
Oxford University lacrosse and Worcester football and cricket.

f) What advice would you give to prospective students?
Book your degree day (graduation date) as soon as possible because they fill up very quickly, take advantage of the sport teams/pitches and go to Worcester ball (it happens in 2011).