Holly’s Story

We often get asked how can our service help candidates –  To showcase our approach and successes, we regularly publish details on how our team of consultants support candidates with personal statements for work and university applications.  In this installment, one of our consultants outlines how they supporter a candidate through the process

At Pain Free Personal Statements we offer a 30 minute free review call to see if our team can help you with your application for your next role or next period of study.  Why not book a free call to see how we can help you


Holly contacted PainFree Personal Statements looking for advice and help. She was passionate about becoming a primary school teacher but did not know how to go about applying. At school, she had been advised to limit her ambitions to becoming a classroom or teaching assistant. When she made her first contact, she was quite disheartened. Her mother expressed dissatisfaction with the careers advice Holly had been given but was equally concerned that Holly would not be able for a university course.

How did our PainFree Personal consultant help Holly ?
In the free review call, Holly’s options were discussed. She had the GCSE grades she needed. She was studying Double Award Health & Social Care and Geography at A Level. We checked the entry requirements of degrees in education in the universities which Holly was keen to apply to. On the basis of her predicted grades, Holly could apply. The next step was getting the UCAS application completed.

In a second Google Meet call, we used a blank UCAS form to guide Holly as to how to enter her grades both at GCSE and A Level (predicted). We then began preparation of the personal statement. Holly was asked to respond to a set of basic questions – why teaching ? why EYFS ? what relevant work experience ? what interests or personal achievements? What career ambitions ?

Holly started off by saying things like ‘I don’t know’ ‘I’m not sure’ so we probed a little to discover that, like many of us, she had an inspirational teacher at primary school. Asked to describe what the teacher had done really brought Holly to life. She described the belief and encouragement the teacher had given her and how she wanted to do the same for a new generation. After that it was plain sailing. Part of Holly’s Health and Social Care course involved a weekly placement in a localprimary school so she was able to describe and explain what she learnt there. She then remembered that she had previously had a Saturday job as a children’s entertainer at a local leisure centre whichhosted birthday parties !

Holly had other barriers to overcome. If successful, she would be the first in her family circle to go to university. Her ambition was also limited to some degree by a fear of failure and the thought thatother siblings and relatives who had gone into work or the local further education college would see her as having ‘got above her station’. We looked at the options at the local further education college which could act as an ‘insurance’ for Holly, if her university choices didn’t work out.

Either way, we wanted to leave her with options. The UCAS form was duly submitted and Holly got back in touch, thrilled because she had received offers of interview with three of her top choices. Coaching her for interview was the next stage of the process.

In the next instalment of Holly’s story, you will see how our service at Pain Free Personal Statements was able to coach Holly for interview, resulting in two firm offers from the universities of her choice.