Clare College Cambridge

Keji Neri

I first came to Clare on an open day in year 12, it was the first college in Cambridge I had ever been to and I fell in love with its beautiful architecture and gardens. During this visit I already knew I wanted to study maths, however, I was torn between straight maths and maths in combination with physics or computer science. When the Director of Studies in Maths at Clare described what the Maths Tripos entailed, I knew I did not want to miss a single part of it, and hence I pursued straight maths.

Throughout the application process I had been given the impression that they wanted me to show how fascinating I was outside my subject. This almost put me off applying as I consider myself to be quite a boring person, however my interview reflected how this could not be further from the truth. In my interviews I was told that they had a lot of paper and that we would do some maths! I was incredibly nervous in both of my interviews, but I tried my hardest to stay calm so that if I got stuck, I could work things through.

Upon reflection, I'd say the interview was actually the most fun part of the application process and if I could go back I would have told myself to enjoy it more! Since then there has been so much hard work and determination my interview memories served as further motivation. STEP was first described to me as a very hard maths exam, although there is a lot more to STEP than this. Getting an offer means that your interviewers believe in your ability, and this realisation provided my main source of motivation when preparing for STEP! In addition, these exams give the opportunity to explore interesting, and sometimes new, parts of maths, which is amazing!

Outside my studies I've been able to learn how to play bridge with the University Bridge Club and other card games with a good friend of mine!

I'm also looking to take chess at Clare to another level as the Vice-President of the Clare College Chess Club (C4), as well as practicing my flicks and tricks through Clare College Football Club (CCFC).

Clare is a lovely College, Maths is a beautiful subject and I honestly could not imagine myself studying something else somewhere different!