‘An Amazing Journey That Will Help Me Make a Difference’

That is how Aanam Munawwar describes her time at Leeds Sixth Form College as she looks forward to a career in medicine.

Aanam, who only moved to England in 2019, has just excelled in her A levels – securing three A*sgrades in biology, chemistry and psychology respectively.

Those results have ensured that she can take another step towards realising her dream of working for the NHS by studying MBChB (Medicine and Surgery) at the University of Leeds this September.

Aanam began her academic journey in the UK two years ago when she attended an open day at Leeds Sixth Form College – and went on to enjoy the ‘immense support’ that was offered to guide her in her studies.

Speaking at Leeds Sixth Form College just after finding out her grades, Aanam was full of praise for her teachers. She said: “I’ve had a very nice time and loved the two years that I spent here, where I’ve had very nice teachers who have been really supportive.

“I’m looking forward to having just a little celebration at home, enjoying some cakes with my family.”

An experience that exceeded all expectations

Recalling her first visit to the college, she added: “When I attended the open day in 2019 I was a bit concerned because I had Indian qualifications but I found the staff members to be so welcoming and supportive, and they helped me to get an equivalency check for my qualifications.

“All my subjects were equivalent to GCSEs except English so I had to take the winter  exam for that, which I passed.

“I also got the opportunity during the open day to attend subject taster sessions and really enjoyed the way everything was taught and how engaging it was.

“I chose to study at Leeds Sixth Form College because it provides a diverse and inclusive learning environment where I knew I could meet new people and make amazing friends.

 “I have had an excellent experience studying at the college which has definitely exceeded all my expectations. I have received a lot of support from my teachers, be it online or in person, and they always encouraged me to do my best.

“I have also enjoyed studying with my peers in the classrooms and by myself, in the Independent learning zones and libraries. And I have loved the food at the canteen and met fantastic people from so many cultures, learned a lot from them and made some great friends for life.”

Top marks in research project

Aanam also completed an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) at Leeds Sixth Form College while studying her A levels.

For EPQs students produce an in-depth piece of research on a topic of their choice for which they receive extra UCAS points.

Aanam received the top grade – and so maximum possible UCAS points – for her essay, which was entitled Can Mobile Health Bridge the Gap Between Patients and Healthcare Providers?

She said: “I am glad that I chose to do an EPQ not only because I got an A* and it looked good on my UCAS application, but because it helped me to develop my critical thinking and decision making skills.

“The amount of research I did allowed me to get a better understanding of healthcare systems and patients’ concerns, which is also beneficial for my career aspirations.”

Medical ambitions

She is now fully focused on the next stage of her education – and then beginning her healthcare career.

She said: “Initially, it was due to my interest in human physiology that I wanted to do medicine.

“But I made the decision to study medicine after attending taster sessions and completing my work experience, which allowed me to reflect on the challenges that the healthcare workers face.

“I also enjoy teamwork and want to become a part of a multidisciplinary team to help in patients’ management and treatment.

“I wish to make my family proud of me. Looking ahead, I am determined to pursue a career in medicine and contribute towards our NHS.”

Referring to her time at Leeds Sixth Form College, she added: “I have had an amazing journey and most enjoyable experience whilst studying here. I hope to use the skills and knowledge that I have gained as a Leeds Sixth Form College student to make a difference to people’s lives.”

To find out more about learning opportunities at Leeds Sixth Form College, visit leedssixthform.ac.uk/our-courses/courses, call 0113 386 1997 or email courses@leedssixthform.ac.uk.