As part of our week-long Kusuma University Interview Workshops in Gibraltar, students from Westside and Bayside schools were offered the opportunity to improve their interview techniques.

Jane Marshall from Optimising Futures UK has over 18 years’ experience working for top UK universities, advising students on the university application process and interviews. Our funding enabled Jane to come to Gibraltar to facilitate a week of one-to-one interview sessions for students. The workshops provided subject specific feedback and advice to students who are applying to university courses which include an interview as part of the application process. Over 50 students attended and indicated they plan to apply to Oxford, Cambridge and other Russel Group universities in a wide range of subjects including medicine, veterinary science, midwifery, psychology, journalism, social work, history, law, teaching and dentistry.

A half day session was also provided for teachers to provide advice and guidance on the wider university application process, interview techniques, personal statements and  how best they could support their students through the process.

Speaking about the event Jane said: “I thoroughly enjoyed working with the bright and enthusiastic students and staff at Westside and Bayside all week on the Kusuma Trust interview workshops. It was very rewarding to see how much the students appreciated the interview practice, how reassured they were, how their confidence increased and how much their overall performance improved as a result of the sessions. It was also a pleasure to run a training session for the keen and dedicated teaching staff to enhance the university interview guidance they offer their students. I wish all the students every success with their upcoming interviews and thank Kusuma for funding such a worthwhile event!

Claire Stagnetto, the Post 16 Coordinator at Westside School said: “Jane was able to see a large number of students in back to back slots for interview practice. The feedback from students was excellent. Jane was positive and encouraging but, above all, provided them with precise, extensive comments on how they came across and how they presented their subject knowledge. Students came away with a much more thorough understanding of what would be expected from them in their upcoming interviews. In addition, the training session for staff on preparing students for interview was extremely useful. We are grateful for this opportunity and hope that the arrangement can continue in future years.”