Ellie Wood is Admissions and Outreach Officer for Christ鈥檚. As she prepares to welcome students to University Open Days on 4 and 5 July, she tells us more about her background, why she loves languages and her favourite band.

1. She likes a challenge, which is why she studied languages

French was the only language on offer at her school 

鈥淔rench at GCSE was my most challenging subject. It was certainly not my best subject in terms of how easy it was, but I absolutely loved it.鈥 

She went on to study it at A Level and then Modern and Medieval Languages (MML) at Cambridge. She spent her year abroad in Soria in Spain where she worked as a language assistant with the British Council.

Person by a lagoon
Ellie in Soria. Credit: Ellie Wood


2. Applying to Cambridge was out of her comfort zone

Ellie attended Yate International Academy (now Yate Academy) on the outskirts of Bristol. At the time there were only about 100 pupils in her year and not many of those went on to sixth form.

鈥淚 can't recall anyone in my year or anyone I knew at school who had parents who'd gone to university. A couple of people had older siblings at uni but you could probably count them on one hand.鈥

Students who did go on to university tended to stay local, But Ellie started thinking about Cambridge when one of her teachers encouraged her and after attending an Open Day.

Person in graduation gown
Ellie at her BA Graduation (with a broken arm ...) Credit: Ellie Wood

3. Outreach is all about providing useful advice

Ellie says that she encourages students to do their research. 

鈥淵ou shouldn't be applying to Cambridge just because it's Cambridge. Have a look at the course. Does that course actually interest you? If it doesn't, that's fine. Choose something that does.鈥 

And that might be another university, or an apprenticeship, or the workplace.

4. She鈥檚 governor of a local school and hasn鈥檛 ruled out becoming a teacher

She鈥檚 says she鈥檚 a quiet person, but not shy. 

鈥淚t's still on the cards. Studying MML means you develop a lot of skills because you constantly have to think about how you are communicating. You have to talk to a lot of new people.鈥

5. Her favourite band is Paramore

An American rock band from Tennessee, she鈥檚 seen them seven times Most recently supporting Taylor Swift at Wembley.

And it鈥檚 become a family tradition to spend New Year in St Ives, Cornwall where she says 鈥渋f you're not in fancy dress, you stand out鈥. Last year, her family went dressed as Toy Story characters which she says is also a wise costume choice if you want to keep warm!

Person in fancy dress costume
Ellie dressed as Zorg, New Year 2023. Credit: Ellie Wood