Sam's Blog

Working in the South West

Welcome to my blog, and what should hopefully be the first of many entries which discusses our work with schools. As the School and College Liaison Officer at Downing College in Cambridge, I have the pleasure of working with state schools in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset to raise aspirations and encourage participation in higher education.

It’s a fantastic job which allows me to talk with a huge range of students, teachers and parents about Cambridge and other universities, often drawing on my own experiences as a Geography student at Downing from 2009 – 2012.

I attended a comprehensive school near Newcastle, and didn’t know much at all about Cambridge when it came round to applying to universities in sixth form. It was only through the support of my teachers and an absolutely amazing experience at a Cambridge Sutton Trust Summer School in Year 12 that made me realise that applying to Cambridge wasn’t such a crazy idea after all!

At school, I think I shared the worries of many students from backgrounds with little experience of higher education – I believed the misleading and outdated Cambridge stereotypes and myths I’d hear in the news. If it wasn’t for the university’s access work, I’m sure I wouldn’t have applied and I wouldn’t have had such an amazing experience in my three years as a student.

I’ve been working as the School and College Liaison Officer at Downing since graduating in 2012, and the enthusiasm and intelligence of the South West’s students and teachers never fails to amaze me. Keep checking the blog to find out about our visits and events, and to learn more about our work with schools.

If you’ve got any questions at all, feel free to comment below or contact me by email, phone or via Facebook or Twitter. For more on Downing’s access work and to see what being a student here is really like, you can check out our Access blog and our student blog.


I was once a student at Downing, but now I work full-time as the School and College Liaison Officer. I'm responsible for organising our outreach work in the South West and advising students and teachers on all things Cambridge!