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16th June 2006 at 01:00
Manisha Tank

Born: 1976

Job: TV presenter BBC World

Attended: Taunton's college, Southampton, for A-level study from 1992 to 1994 Manisha presents World Business Report on BBC World and hourly business news bulletins. She studied economics, modern history, French and human biology at A-level, has a diploma in word processing and also mastered the cello. She went on to Oxford university, where she studied philosophy, politics and economics

"All of my teachers at Taunton's were excellent and, since I have a great deal of respect for them, I think of them as friends as well.

"They were passionate about their jobs, passionate about their teaching and gave me the sense of ambition that made me feel as if anything was possible.

"They were all supportive and encouraging. In particular, I have to thank my form tutor, who opened doors in my mind for which I never imagined I would find the key; particularly when it came to choosing a university.

"I still go back to visit once in while. When I was at Taunton's it went through a major transition, moving from one campus to another. We started off in an older, rather dingy building. I remember my French classes were held in a really shady old temporary hut which I hated.

"There was no real gym, and when I campaigned for us to have a girls'

cricket team we had to practise in a sports hall that wasn't much bigger than the average garden.

"In the second year, things changed dramatically. Taunton's college moved to its current campus on Hill Lane, Southampton, and the facilities there are really something. Tennis courts, football pitch, massive gym hall and all the sports talent the college is pouring out is testament to that.

"The class-rooms are modern, clean, bright and spacious. When you are dealing with the hell of A-levels, it really helps to have a great environment to work in.

"At first, I didn't get it. Moving from a pretty strict girls' school to a far more relaxed sixth-form environment was a bit of a culture shock.

"I was a student governor and got the impression that a number of the students didn't have a feel for the college, that they were in it for themselves.

"In the working world, we are all in teams and spend so much time at training courses on team work and relationship building.

"It would be useful if students learned about all that much earlier on."

Manisha Tank was talking to Shekhar Bhatia

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