Uni Genius 2021

by Generating Genius
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Uni Genius 2021
Uni Genius 2021
Uni Genius 2021

Our 2022 New Year’s Resolution at Generating Genius is to ensure that by the end of  year  we have reached more students and geographies across the country who are most in need of our programmes. We will be sharing our strategy as to how we will do this later on this year. The year is already off to a good start with events, as part of our programmes, in Stoke on Trent, Birmingham, London and online. A particular highlight for myself, was last week in London, attending a Blood Analysis workshop with Year 11 students. The engagement, enthusiasm and healthy competition during the workshop was a great way to remind myself, at the beginning of the year, of why we do what we do. 


It is great to be able to start the year with the renewal of what were new programmes last year. It is brilliant news that we had the formal launch event on the 26th January of the Black Women into Tech Programme 2022. We were able to do this thanks to our sponsors who agreed to support for a second year running. I would like to thank our sponsors PDT Partners who are our Headline and Gold sponsor of Black Women into Tech, as well as our other sponsors HSBC, IRI, Medallia and MAN Group. We are also very pleased to have launched the second cohort of the STEM@Cambridge programme this week. STEM@Cambridge is run in partnership with St John's College at the University of Cambridge. 

Our students' hard work is paying off with our partner companies too. 


 Looking ahead to next month, a key highlight we are looking forward to over half-term is finally getting our Year 12 students in person to Oxford and Cambridge as part of our STEM@Oxford and STEM@Cambridge programmes, run in partnership with St Johns, Cambridge and Oriel College, Oxford. This is happening in February. Eighty (80) students, along with parents and carers, will be going to Cambridge. Students will be doing STEM Masterclasses and having an Application Process and Personal Statement Preparation Workshop. Parents will be having information workshops on supporting their young person to choose the right degree in relation to career prospects, key milestones in the Cambridge preparation process, as well as Cambridge Financial Support and Scholarships. Similarly, at Oxford, 34 students will be doing STEM Masterclasses and an Application Process and Personal Statement Preparation Workshop. 

Black Women Into Tech 2022 has launched!
On Wednesday, 26th January we had the incredibly successful launch of our Black Women into Tech 2022 programme. It was an exciting night with the new cohort of students welcomed onto the programme by students from the 2021 cohort,


Mentoring programme 

It's been a busy time in Mentoring. We have lots of exciting and amazing events happening this month and on the horizon.
Firstly, we have the launch of the 2022 Black Women into Tech programme! Out of 120 applicants, 50 lucky mentees were chosen to participate in the mentoring programme. Students will be mentored by leading experts from HSBC, IRI, MAN Group, Medallia and more top tech companies. The inspiring launch took place on Wednesday, 26th January!
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the first cohort of our amazing Grid for Good mentoring programme coming to an end after a very successful programme. Here is what a couple of the participants had to say:
“I've really been enjoying the program. I've found it really helpful since my mentor did a physics degree, which is what I'm doing, and she's been helping me get my CV, LinkedIn and interview skills ready for a jobs fair that I'm going to attend in March for the Space industry. So overall I've found it very beneficial. We still have a couple of sessions left, but so far it's been great.”
Grid for Good Mentee
Studies Physics at the University of Leicester
“The experience so far has been amazing. So well organised at your end so thank you!  My mentor is super bright. We’ve had 2 sessions already and I’m in the process of trying to line up an internship for her next year. Looking forward to our remaining sessions.”
Grid for Good Mentor
Our Google and Virtu programmes are now at the halfway point and have been going very well. Here are what some of the participants have to say so far:
“The mentoring sessions are going well and I'm finding them really useful, we've been talking through each of the points in detail and feeding back areas to practice and improve as well as more general advice on careers, software engineering, and more specifically work-life at Google and other tech businesses”
Google Mentee
Studies Computer Science at University of Birmingham
“The programme has been really good so far; my mentor has helped me with interview questions and with coding which has really been beneficial. I have secured a placement at IBM and questions we went over I was asked so I was so glad I had that extra practice!”
Google Mentee
Studies Computer Science (Cyber Security) at University of Kent


Our ambition is to double the number of students we reach with our Menetoring programme. 

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We have had a fantastic season of programmes including the return of some in-person events, work experience and internships on some programmes too.

Congratulations to our Year 13 students who received their A-level results! They have worked so hard this year, despite the challenges of the pandemic, both at school and on their university preparation and career development with Generating Genius. Congratulations to our six students heading to Oxford and Cambridge. 

The highlight of this month for the Generating Genius team was bringing our Year 12’s together in person. This was for our two STEM Future Leaders Leadership Academies in London and the Destination Leeds Students Finale Event. It was wonderful for us all to see the engagement, learning and networking amongst the students and particularly great to see the start of friendships of students from across the country. 


Read the interview below with two of our students we have hiiden their identities:   

What results did you each get for each of your subjects?
'We received the same results in the same subjects'

Student A: Biology (A*), Chemistry (A*), Maths (A*), EPQ(A*)
Student B  - Biology (A*), Chemistry (A*), Maths (A*), EPQ(A*)

Did you both check UCAS together or separately?
( Student A speaking) 
'We both signed into UCAS together; however, I got my results first, and Elizabeth’s UCAS lagged, which made the entire experience more stressful. It reminded us of the time we received our BMAT results. We hate getting results online.'

Did you revise and prepare for exams and assessments together over the last two years?
(Student A Speaking)
'During year 12, we revised and prepared for exams together. However, in Year 13, it was more challenging to revise together because of our medical interviews which had been scheduled at different times in the year. I had my interviews earlier in the year, whereas Elizabeth had hers much later in the year, i.e. March and April. So as Elizabeth prepared for her interviews, I did independent study and vice versa.

The situation with covid also meant our interviews were online. There were positives and negatives to having online interviews. For example, a positive was that we were at home and in a comfortable environment. However, my Imperial interview was pre-recorded instead of being live, and we only had 1 minute to answer the questions at each of the seven stations.'

( Student B speaking)
I enjoyed my UCL interview, especially compared to the interviews I had at other universities. The interview was in the panel format, which I liked because I found that it was more relaxed. However, when I first joined the UCL interview, my computer crashed, which as you can imagine was extremely stressful. Fortunately, the UCL interviewers were really nice about it. 

Student  A How are you feeling about going to UCL?
I applied to Oxford, UCL, King's College London and Birmingham for Medicine. In all honesty, I mainly applied to Oxford because my teacher was pressuring me to. However, deep down, I always wanted to study Medicine at UCL. This is because I had many mentors who went to UCL, so it is really nice for me to go there too. 

Student B - How are you feeling about going to Imperial?
'In December, Imperial rejected me due to my BMAT score, which did not meet the non-widening and participation cut off score. However, my score exceeded the widening and participation cut off score, for which I qualified as a contextual applicant. After appealing my rejection, they realised that they had made a mistake. Therefore, at first, I was mad, as it was also one of the reasons I had my interview so late in the year and because of their mistake, I also experienced a bit of imposter syndrome. However, after attending the offer holder day and joining the university's WhatsApp group chats, I am now really excited to begin.'

Student A - What made you want to study Medicine?
'At times I was a bit unsure about applying as people were constantly telling me the negatives. However, after my work experience at a dermatology placement, I really liked the atmosphere and found it comforting. I also enjoyed watching the patients appreciate what the doctors were doing for them. What I particularly love about Medicine is the interaction with patients. I cannot imagine myself pursuing an only science-based career.'

Student B What made you want to study Medicine?
'I was not sure if I wanted to apply for Medicine in year 12. However, through exploring other career paths by attending multiple work experiences, I realised that I did not enjoy them as much as my medicine placements. I especially liked my work experience at the Royal Trinity Hospice. Although it was nerve-racking, talking to the patients was a lovely experience, and I really enjoyed forming connections with them. What I particularly love about Medicine is the variety of specialities I can pursue.' 

Student A How has Generating Genius helped you with preparing for university and the world of work so far?
'Generating Genius gave me my first mentor, Faizah, who is also a medical student at UCL. Faizah helped me with my personal statement and was overall very helpful during the application process. I also found the UCAT a rather scary experience as I didn't know many others who were doing Medicine, so it was beneficial having the guidance of my mentor during that time. I also found the medicine/chemistry workshops with Leeds University very helpful.' 

Student B How has Generating Genius helped you with preparing for university and the world of work so far?
'Generating Genius also gave me a mentor who was a medical student. My mentor helped to give me a clear insight into not only the medicine application process but also to medicine as a career. I also found the Ditchley Foundation Trip very helpful. It was inspiring to hear the stories of the successful alumni and to hear application advice from the Cambridge admissions team. Furthermore, being surrounded by equally ambitious students was a fantastic motivator to work harder.' 


The Uni Genius team has had a jam-packed summer of events! We hosted over 100 of our talented young people for in-person events throughout August on both our Uni Genius and STEM Future Leaders programmes.

Students on our university preparation programmes with the University of Cambridge, University of Leeds and University College London have received workshops to develop their personal statements, learn about degree courses and hear about scholarships and university access programmes during the past month. We hosted our students enrolled on our Destination Leeds programme for an in-person event in London. Current University of Leeds undergraduate students and staff shared the wonderful opportunities available to them at our northern partner.

On our STEM Future Leaders programme, our students joined us in central London for our Leadership Academy run by leadership and soft skills training experts Kaizen. Our students learnt about effective leadership and the importance of creative thinking and self-reflection. Our STEM Future Leaders have also participated in work experience this month at Sony Pictures, GHO Capital, PWC, IRI and Barclays.

We want to do more in the next academic year so we need your support. 

Recruitment for our Uni Genius Network is in full swing, with nearly 50 schools across London and Birmingham advertising our opportunity to find the brightest Year 12 minds.
We are proud to welcome Oriel College at the University of Oxford as a partner on our University Preparation programme, joining University College London and St John’s College at the University of Cambridge to support our young people on their Higher Education journey.
Our latest round of Generating Genius Ambassadors and Volunteer Mentors from our corporate partners are getting geared up to mentor Year10 students across the country. This is as part of our brand-new Pay It Forward programme, we need donations so we can launchi in schools in October. As part of the programme, our ambassadors will deliver talks and workshops in secondary schools to inspire the future STEM workforce.

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2021 Progress Review

Uni Genius

We have had a number of good programmes on Uni Genius this year. Students are assigned to a University Preparation programme which is co-run by Generating Genius and either UCL, University of Cambridge or the University of Leeds. Students also attend Career Discovery programmes which are Industry Challenge Days, Work Experience, Soft Skill Academies and Group Mentoring.

Please see below the averages across programmes run so far this year, on the impact students feel they have had in terms of increasing knowledge in STEM and career options.

Area Surveyed

Averages across programmes

Increased knowledge about STEM degree or degrees they are interested in (university programmes were surveyed on this only)

63% very significantly increased knowledge about STEM degree or degrees they are interested in.


18% significantly increased knowledge about STEM degree or degrees they are interested in.


19% somewhat increased knowledge about STEM degree or degrees they are interested in.

Increased knowledge of career options 

72% very significantly increased knowledge of career options.


27% significantly increased knowledge of career options.


1% significantly increased knowledge of career options.


Future Operations

  • Next summer, we hope to relaunch Junior Genius, our ground-breaking programme which supports students from age 14. This will allow us to make a greater impact by going back to starting at this age again and having even longer-term engagement than we do at present.
  • Further national expansion to the North of England – As well as relaunching Junior Genius, our Pay it Forward Programme, starting in October 2021, will allow us to do this. 19 out of 20 of the poorest areas in England are outside of London and the South East. So for us to impact those who really need our support, we must expand to these areas.
  • Algorithmic approach to mentor matching – We want the mentoring experience to be an even better experience for mentoring pairings than it is now. A lot of the success of mentoring can come down to who you are matched with. We think that the way mentoring is growing in our charity we need to enhance this experience. By the end of this year, we would have had 305 mentoring pairings on Generating Genius. Next year this is set to increase to 450 and we see a further increase in this space happening. We need to find a better way to improve the quality of mentor matching and a more time efficient process with the volumes we have.
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We hosted our first Destination Leeds workshop, entitled Choosing the Right STEM Degree, on Saturday, 12th December. It was pleasing to see 71 of our Year 12 students join this event. Students heard from Leeds University Departmental Admission Heads across STEM subjects and from the Careers Department about the wide variety of areas that different STEM subjects can take you into. The highlight for the event for many students was the final section where they were matched into their chosen degree subject and or area of interest, to meet current students and find out what it is like to study these subjects.

We have been busy supporting the final set of UCAS applications by our Year 13s for university. It has been great to have our partners at University of Leeds, UCL and Peterhouse College at Cambridge University provide such great information and support to our students to ensure they make the right degree choice for them and apply to the best possible university they are capable of getting into. We look forward to receiving all the information around our offers to our Year 13s next year.

In January our Year 12s have some exciting sessions on both our STEM@Cambridge and our Destination Leeds programmes. We will also open up some of our work experience opportunities for application and look forward to preparing our students to get used to applying for jobs. The process will be just like applying for an Internship or Graduate position and our students will be given feedback throughout the process.



Student Feedback:


Student A 


‘I want to give a prodigious thank you to The Black Heart Foundation and Generating Genius for this extraordinary, life-impacting scholarship! I am beyond grateful for this blessing. Since the age of 16, I have had to work in retail to support my educational needs, which included everything from funding essential educational trips to purchasing textbooks and train tickets for my medical school interviews. Working part-time alongside my A level studies was difficult and studying Medicine at Nottingham University is proving to be the most significant academic and social challenge yet, especially during a pandemic. I understand what a privilege it is to be able to study this profession and how hard I have worked to be in my position. Therefore, with the financial stability that this scholarship provides, I can dedicate 100% of my time towards my degree, and so giving me the time to focus on becoming the best doctor I can be. Being able to effectively balance my studies alongside my university’s social, volunteering and mentoring opportunities allows me to make the most of my time here, as well as engage in roles that help to support prospective STEM students to achieve their goals. Once again, thank you so much for this support. I strive to repay your generosity and thus contribute to helping future generations of underprivileged students.



Student B

‘I will be eternally grateful to the Black Heart Foundation for their generosity and care. This scholarship has given me a level of financial freedom I’ve never experienced in my life. Growing up in a low income single-parent household has meant always juggling my education and financial worries with little time for aspirations or hobbies. With this support I can now focus more on my career prospects and extracurricular activities. I’ve always felt like I have to work twice as hard for the same opportunities but with this scholarship, I feel on par with my peers. I am now able to fully engage with my course material, making my dreams of becoming a medical researcher more tangible. Thank you.’

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Black Heart Foundation for the second year in a row of supporting Generating Genius students who need it most with scholarships to have the financial support and confidence to achieve degree success in STEM. They also are a key sponsor of Uni Genius and support our university preparation and career discovery programmes which prepare our students to get into and aspire to study STEM degrees. Over the last 2 years the sponsorship from Black Heart has supported our A-level booster revision classes where our students are tutored in small groups of 4 or 5. This support is akin to what students in independent and private schools receive as part of their schooling and it is extremely impactful in making sure every student gets the individual support and guidance they require to achieve their personal best.


We have now engaged 137 students on our activities as part of our programme with Grid for Good. We are well on our target to ensure a minimum of 550 students get to engage with the career development opportunities as part of this programme during this academic year. This month's events included an Energy Insight talk and workshop evening which 72 students attended as well as a smaller, more in depth, two day Data Science challenge and workshops for 22 students.

We are looking forward to getting started on providing students with individual mentors from National Grid starting in January for a 12 week Career Discovery Mentoring Programme. This programme is aimed at first year students to help them start to figure out what kinds of jobs and industries they may be interested in and application preparation for competitive summer internships.

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Uni Genius update


Our students have been busy over September alongside returning back to school with university preparation programmes and career discovery programmes. For our Year 13s the focus on university preparation side has been on choosing the right degree subject and fine tuning personal statements. We delivered 3 Choosing the Right Degree sessions in September run by our partners at University of Leeds. We had 82 of our students attend across the three sessions. There have also been drop in sessions run alongside these for students to discuss their interests in more detail. We also ran a Physics Degree Taster day which included for the first time since we gone virtual students being able to do at home experiments.


Last week, we hosted a virtual celebration event to the mark end of our Step into National Grid Programme. Forty of our Year 13 students over the last 4 months participated in Insight talks, technical engineering boot camps, soft skills sessions, Energy Challenge day as well as 12 weeks of one to one mentoring. Congratulations to our students who participated. Thank you to the National Grid employees who designed, delivered workshops and mentored our students.


We are currently in the process of recruiting our students for Uni Genius. This year 300 new students will join us in London. We also pleased that our new pilot cohort of 100 students from white low income households will be joining us. They will be from Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds and the surrounding areas of these cities. We are working in partnership with Outwood Grange Acadamies to recruit the majority of pilot of students. We had a great presentation afternoon to the Heads of Sixth Form of all these academies who are excited for their students to join us in November. We have recruited 220/300 for London starting at the end of October and 37/100 for the northern regions at the end of November.



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Generating Genius

Location: London - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @generatingg
Project Leader:
Zindzi Sewell
London, United Kingdom
$43,089 raised of $62,200 goal
546 donations
$19,111 to go
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