Kolade Balogun OH (2017) attended Hampton on a Free Place from the age of 11 – 18 years. After thriving at Hampton, Kolade was awarded an independent student grant to attend Vanderbilt University, Tennessee. Today, Kolade is working with global consulting firm BCG. He spoke to us about his Hampton experience:
- Hampton came onto the radar when I was about 10 and I was looking into secondary schools with my mum. One of her work colleagues mentioned the bursary scheme at Hampton and after visiting the School, I fell in love with the place and really wanted to go there.
How was the application process?
- The secondary school application process can be stressful for anyone but my mum remembers the admissions staff at Hampton were really nice and there was a warmth about the School and the people there. I remember feeling extremely nervous heading into the entrance exam but I must have done really well because we got a phone call the next week inviting me in for an interview. The biggest thing was meeting the Headmaster but he had such a calming presence that I actually felt really relaxed when I finally got to his office and our conversation went extremely well – acting as a final validation that Hampton was the right place for me.
Describe Hampton life
- I found the balance between academics and co-curricular perfect for me; alongside the study there was plenty of down time and fun activities that really helped to build friendships. My favourite subjects included Maths, Chemistry and Physics as I loved learning about new concepts and putting my brain to the test. I really enjoyed my Art and Design and Engineering classes as well because they were such a different pace and added a fresh dynamic to my day. Outside of the classroom, I loved playing football whether with the main teams, participating in social league, or simply playing at lunchtime. One thing that stood out at Hampton was the range of options available, I had a great time trying my hand at lots of things from new sports such as badminton, and co-curricular activities such as photography club.
Settling in & friendships
- Everyone at Hampton is so down to earth that I really had no trouble making friends with my peer group and also forming great relationships with teachers. Hampton has such a diverse group of pupils and everyone just wants to enjoy their school life and navigate the journey together.
Did you feel different?
- No, I always felt the same as everybody else. With Hampton you really feel at ease, they are extremely welcoming and embrace people from all backgrounds to create an environment where everyone is truly equal.
The benefits of a Hampton education
- I achieved better than I could’ve imagined both in GCSEs and A Levels. Hampton really pushed me beyond my limits and provided extensive resources at every turn to continually improve and develop. My academics at Hampton provided a foundation for my success both at university and work, and will continue to be the bedrock for any future achievements. I was enthralled by the prospect of adventuring to the USA and engaging with the broad curriculum on offer at universities in the States, and was lucky enough to get a scholarship to Vanderbilt. Today, I work in management consulting at BCG where I offer strategic guidance to industry leaders as they look to address key problems and challenges. I really enjoy the variety. It’s always fascinating to completely immerse myself into new industries and supporting those looking to drive change. In the future, my next step is to return to my studies and attend business school before returning to BCG and working my way up to Project Leader where I can gain more management experience.
Message to other families
- A Hampton free place is 100% worth it, and Hampton really does everything to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible and deliver the quality experience you are hoping for. The Free Place at Hampton opened doors to possibilities I never would have encountered without it, and positioned me for success by providing an exceptional education and personal development opportunities. I can wholeheartedly say that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Hampton Free Place.