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Alumni Alice speaks to aspiring artists at CATS Cambridge

Student stories 4 November 2019

“I developed skills at CATS that have helped me at university and beyond. From structuring how to write my dissertation to researching the market to find clients to grow my business.”

- Alice, Owner of Mushroom Nook Studio and former CATS College Cambridge student

Alice from Vietnam studied A Levels at CATS Cambridge in 2016. She recently graduated with a 1st Class Hons in Illustration from Anglia Ruskin University, secured a Tier 1 Entrepreneurship Visa and set up her business, Mushroom Nook Studio selling her artwork online, as well pitching for commissions to grow her business. Alice returned to the Cambridge campus to speak to current students about her journey:

“My mother always wanted me to go to university in the UK. I remember my father reading an article about what it was like to study in Cambridge and I was sold. I remember before I arrived I was terrified that it wouldn’t meet my expectations, but it really did.”

Alice praised the pastoral support she received during her time at CATS:

“For me, the best thing about CATS is the support from staff. In fact, I have stayed in contact with many people at CATS since I graduated and they still give me amazing support. I consider them my friends, it’s really lovely.”

On applying to university, Alice advised:

“Do your research! This is really important. Not just the university but the faculty that you want to go to and the course you want to study. Also, visit the universities you are interested in. Open days are the best way to find the right place for you because you never know what it is really like until you see it for yourself.”

After graduating from university, Alice entered a competition called the Big Pitch which led to Anglia Ruskin University endorsing her for her to be granted the Entrepreneurship Visa. On her achievements, Alice said:

“As cheesy as it sounds, it’s all about positive mental attitude. I told myself every morning ‘I want that business visa’ and I was in the right mindset to do everything I needed to get it. I would encourage everyone to think this way. I truly believe it makes a difference.”

Hiya, a current 2nd year A level art student at CATS Cambridge commented after the visit:

“I am going through the same things as Alice did when she was applying for university and her advice has stuck with me. I now know not to pick a university just for its name or rank but I should do proper research and pick the university that is right for me.”

Alice is just one of many students who pursued her education at CATS Cambridge, where we offer a range of courses. Find out more about CATS A level Programme and prepare for top universities.


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