Meet the Students
Before joining HMC I worked as the Coordinator for the Faculty at my old College in Bristol. When I first joined HMC, I had one thought - it's so friendly!
HMC has far exceeded whatever I had hoped my College would be like. It's a cliché but I really do feel part of the HMC family, thanks in part to our amazing tutors who clip at heels when essays aren't quite as good as they could be and will, in the same breath, offer a coffee and a chat to make sure the term is going well. Equally, I feel like the size of HMC gives us ample opportunity to get to know most of the students.
My favourite part of HMC life is the meals! We have a beautiful dining hall, an amazing kitchen team and delicious food. What makes it even more special for me though are the conversations, debates and general chit-chats that happen over meals. You can learn a lot about a person from their opinion on Nutella and peanut butter sandwiches!
MSc Education, BA Philosophy and Theology, PGCE
I came to HMC just after finishing an LLB in Law with Hispanic Law at UCL— I spent three years in London, and a year honing my Spanish in Madrid. At Oxford, I’m studying for the BCL, the postgraduate law degree for people from a common law background. I’ve only been at HMC for a year, and one term of that was spent entirely online! But if there is one thing that I enjoy the most, it is the people of the college—it’s brilliant that JCR and MCR members are so integrated, and that fellows and students can talk with each-other on a level playing field. There’s no hierarchy here!
I’ve been grateful this year to be the MCR’s ‘Barista-in-Chief’. In normal years this involves keeping the MCR kitchen well-stocked with drinks and snacks. But this year, getting into the MCR kitchen has been impossible for most people! So I’ve been taking the postgrads out on ‘coffee walks’, where we wander to a coffee shop on a Sunday morning, grab a coffee, and meander back to college through town. It’s been a great way to meet others, share stories and enjoy a coffee (and recently a rare iced one!). After I finish the BCL this summer, I’m going back to London, to do the Bar Course so I can eventually qualify as a barrister. I’ve been really lucky to receive a couple of scholarships from Gray’s Inn to do that.
Bachelor of Civil Law
I applied to Harris Manchester after studying History and English Literature part-time at the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education (OUDCE). As a UK state school student with Autism I have found Harris Manchester a very friendly and inclusive place to study and I would encourage people from all backgrounds to apply here. I have always been interested in the arts and humanities, and after working with museums and heritage sites in Kent I felt that I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of History.
The History BA at Oxford is amazing and covers a broad spectrum of topics. Harris Manchester is a small college which means it has a great sense of community. I enjoy living in college and studying with other mature students, the tutors here are amazing because they are engaged with their own primary research, so they are always interesting to talk to, and we are taught in pairs or small groups, so we really benefit from their expertise. Harris Manchester is one of the most diverse and international Oxbridge colleges, so this year I have greatly enjoyed meeting people from around the world and learning about different countries and cultures. When I’m not studying I enjoy attending and reading at chapel services with our chaplain Dr Claire Macdonald, music director Dr James Whitbourne, and the Harris Manchester choir; these are amazing Unitarian and multi-faith events which are very welcoming.
There are lots of opportunities at Harris Manchester to get involved with extra-curricular activities, and I have been busy working on The Vanity Papers, a cutting-edge literary magazine based in Oxford, and collaborating with Jesus College on outreach work. The university has given me a huge amount of support with career development, including mentoring sessions with BBC historian Dr Annie Gray who is helping me develop ideas for publication, and I hope to progress with this after I graduate.
After getting on to the Oxford University PGCE course to become a Secondary School Teacher of English, I researched colleges for mature students and came across Harris Manchester, the perfect college for me! It is small enough for you to get to know many of the residents and wonderfully friendly College staff, who go above and beyond to make sure you are comfortable, happy and well looked after.
I joined the choir and perform weekly in HMC's magnificent Chapel with original William Morris stained glass windows. The food is absolutely exceptional, with Friday curry nights being my favourite. You have to see the library for yourself to appreciate how spectacular it is. Our Principal is so lovely! A magnet for attracting new talent, celebrating the best HMC has to offer and making excellent speeches at formal occasions.
I have been so happy at HMC, which boasts an impressive list of alumni, and full of brilliant scientists, lawyers, archaeologists, creative writers, and historians.
Before HMC, I was working as a junior associate in the finance team of an international law firm in Beijing.
My experience so far has been one of friendship, support, encouragement, and inspiration. I am constantly encouraged to think beyond the surface of various issues and to keep an open mind about different ideas coming from all the people around me. HMC encourages this especially well by bringing people from various cultural backgrounds together.
I love that we all sit together in the Arlosh Hall for breakfast, lunch and dinner! You never know who you will sit next to and what you might end up chatting about at breakfast! Those chats open my days better than coffee.
Before HMC I was completing a 45 year career in the City, the last 30 as an equity analyst following banks and providing investment advice to the world's biggest asset managers.
Arriving at the University of Oxford as an undergraduate at 63 was truly a case of living the dream. The beauty of Oxford is the fact that you visit tutors at many Colleges. However, having HMC as a base provided a great platform for my studies at Oxford and enabled me to meet many amazing fellow students with so many great 'back stories'.
I love the beautiful Chapel, the wonderful formals in the Arlosh Hall and being an 'old swot' in our wonderful library. However, any institution is about its people and the HMC academic and non-academic staff are incredibly welcoming and the student body is diverse, friendly, and a lot of fun.