Laura Davies, Founder and Managing Director
BA (Hons), MA (Cantab), PGDipM, PGDipEx, Chartered Marketer, FCIM, CELTA
Cambridge Dream’s founder and Managing Director is Laura Davies. Laura has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Modern and Medieval Languages from Cambridge University, together with postgraduate professional business qualifications and Cambridge’s Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (CELTA). Laura is a Chartered Marketer and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
As well as organising academic and leadership summer programmes in Cambridge colleges for school students aged 13-18 years, Laura and her team of Oxbridge Masters and PHD tutors provide year-round coaching and university preparation services, which include skills development, super-curricular enrichment, personal statement editing and interview preparation.
Laura’s vision is help inspire young people to fulfil their potential and achieve their dreams. For over 15 years, Laura has worked closely with students, school leaders and counsellors in many partner schools in the UK and across the globe:
- giving talks
- running courses
- providing advice
- writing articles
- developing learning materials.
Many of the students Laura and her team have supported have successfully completed undergraduate and graduate studies at top-ranking universities and have gone on to have high-flying careers in a wide range of fields.
Laura started her career in the corporate world, where she served in a number of senior international positions before moving into Management Consultancy, specialising in Education and the knowledge economy. Laura was one of the first female Company Directors to be appointed under the age of 30 in the UK and she has worked at Director level in many countries. Before founding Cambridge Dream in 2014, Laura held senior international positions within ICI, KPMG, Andersen Business Consulting, UKLC and Market Insights, where she was commissioned to undertake research and strategy consultancy projects for leading universities, the UK Government and other high-profile institutions.In 2014 and again in 2017, Laura was presented with an award by the British Government in recognition of her collaborative work with overseas partners to foster educational and cultural exchange links.
In July 2015, Laura was invited to join a trade delegation to Singapore and Malaysia, led by the British Prime Minister David Cameron, where she helped launch the Great British Year of Education and represented the United Kingdom as an Education specialist in high-level government meetings.
The Managing Director Laura Davies and other senior managers are very well qualified and experienced and have a clear vision for what they want to achieve. They are supported very effectively by tutors and student mentors who are very committed to the aims and ethos of the Cambridge Dream programme and are invaluable in caring for and supporting the participants. All the staff are passionate about carrying out their responsibilities to the highest possible standards.
Neil Davies, Company Secretary
BA (Hons), MA (Cantab)
Laura’s husband Neil has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Cambridge in Natural Sciences and Engineering, and has enjoyed a successful management career in leading global companies. As Cambridge Dream’s Company Secretary, Neil is responsible for ensuring that Cambridge Dream complies with standard financial and legal practice.
Keith Welsh, Operations Manager
BA (Hons), PGCE
Keith Welsh is a qualified Geography teacher and an accredited Sports Leadership instructor. As well as managing all the operational aspects of the summer school programme, Keith is the person responsible for ensuring the safeguarding and welfare of participants. This means he can deal with any personal problems that learners may have while they are in the UK.
Lucy Johnston, Excursions and Entertainments Manager
Lucy Johnston has responsibility for excursions and evening entertainments. Lucy achieved a first class Education degree with QTS at Liverpool John Moores University and is a full-time school teacher when she is not busy with Cambridge Dream in the summer. Her experience includes organising airport transfers, liaising with group leaders, leading excursions and delivering sports activities.
Imogen Fox, Programme Manager
Imogen Fox is Cambridge Dream’s Programme Manager; responsible for assisting in planning and running the summer course, monitoring student evaluation, and managing Cambridge Dream’s social media. Imogen has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Cambridge University and works as an English, History and Maths tutor. Before becoming Programme Manager, Imogen worked for several years as an Undergraduate Student Mentor for Cambridge Dream. Imogen is pursuing a Masters degree in Creative Writing.
Teaching and Lecturing Staff
Dr. Helen Scales
We have several scholars from Cambridge and Oxford on our team, including Dr Helen Scales, the world-famous Cambridge marine biologist, broadcaster and writer. Helen regularly speaks on the BBC and has written several beautiful books about the biological wonders of the oceans. She has worked as a conservationist for the World Wide Fund for Nature and the World Conservation Union, specialising in coral reef conservation and the global trade in endangered marine species. In her lectures for our students, Helen brings to life the animals and places that are normally out of sight and out of mind.
Cambridge Dream course participants are taught by professionally qualified teachers and trainers, who are all Oxbridge graduates experienced in using a range of teaching and learning methods to deliver stimulating lessons that engage and actively involve learners. We are continuously expanding our team to ensure we can offer as wide a range of subject expertise as possible to our learners.
Other Cambridge lecturers in our team include Dr. Hsin-Ling Liang, a nano-technology expert currently developing smart materials for the Internet of Things; Dr. Bang Ming Yong, an expert in Virtual Reality who completed his PHD at Cambridge University’s Institute for Manufacturing; Dr. Gerald Mako, a History and Politics graduate from Oxford University who completed his Cambridge PhD in Development Studies, specialising in Central Asian history and Soviet/Russian policymaking, and Dr. Akshyeta Suryanarayan, an archaeologist from New Delhi, India, who completed her PhD at Cambridge.
Dr. Hsin Ling Liang
Dr. Bang Ming Yong
Dr. Gerald Mako
Akshyeta took her Bachelors degree at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania and completed her Masters (MPhil) and PhD at Cambridge. Her doctoral research focuses on the reconstruction of ancient culinary practices in the Indus Civilisation, South Asia’s first urban civilisation (c. 3000-1900 B.C). Akshyeta has also worked on archaeological excavations and projects in Oman, U.A.E, Jordan and Turkey. As part of her interest in questions of representation and the display of archaeological and anthropological collections in museums, Akshyeta has contributed to projects such as ‘take hold’ with the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge, and has organised a set of critical museum tours as part of the Festival of Ideas in Cambridge. She has lectured in archaeology in India and the United Kingdom, and has supervised undergraduates at the University for over 2 years.
In 2017, we welcomed Susi Watson to our teaching team. Susi is an expert in helping students to develop their problem-solving skills through visual thinking. She has worked with many top Business schools including Stanford, IESE, Cranfield School of Management and Cambridge Judge Business School, as well as leading companies such as California Academy of Science, Bank of America, Cisco Systems and Disney.
Dr. Akshyeta Suryanarayan
In 2017, Melissa Lee joined our team, delivering careers advice and university preparation for students attending the summer school. When she is not working with Cambridge Dream in the summer, Melissa is a professional careers advisor and leads a careers department in a local Cambridge Academy. Melissa grew up in Hong Kong where the pursuit of excellence in education is inherent in the culture. Melissa graduated in Education from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and completed a Masters in Education at Cambridge.
Cambridge Undergraduates and Graduates work alongside our summer school students throughout their stay. They are each assigned a small group of about 6 learners, whom they support during the programme, giving them valuable knowledge about the subjects they are currently studying at Cambridge.
On arrival, the mentors take the students to their rooms and show them around. The mentors live in college during the whole programme, assisting with activities, teaching small group classes in their subjects, doing practice interviews (15-18 year olds), helping with personal statements (15-18 year olds), accompanying students on cultural visits and answering their questions.
Not only are the mentors academically accomplished, they are also talented in music, sport, drama and debate. Many of them already have teaching experience either in the UK or overseas.