Education: University of Edinburgh - Accounting and Finance - Graduated 2018 with Upper Second Class Honours
Role: Analyst at JP Morgan Chase & Co.
Top Tip: "Get involved as much as you can, get to know people and take all the opportunities you’re offered.”
I attended a rural school in an agricultural area, where university was not always seen as the natural next step in our education. I didn’t have the opportunity to study accounting or business at school, so I had to put in a lot of research to find out what options were available to me and what career I wanted. Once I decided where I wanted to study, I looked into available financial support on my university’s website, discovered the ICAS Foundation and decided to apply.
I wanted to attend a university where I would be both challenged and helped to achieve my full potential, and the University of Edinburgh seemed perfect. I didn’t realise how much planning would be involved, to make sure I met all my coursework deadlines and fitted in my part time job as well. I had to be really organised with my time but my top priority was always achieving the best degree possible.
For me, the greatest benefit of the Foundation programme was the opportunity to attend a range of events and meet so many people further on in their career. Now that I’m working, it’s easier for me to communicate with senior managers and understand how to approach people at networking events – so many people at my level haven’t yet developed those skills.
When I started university, I had no idea how much funding I would need – my ICAS Foundation bursary allowed me to purchase all of the required textbooks, and a laptop so I could study in the best location for me.
My mentor really helped me understand the range of roles available to me after university, and once I decided where I wanted to focus, she helped me work out what I needed to do to achieve that role. I was able to work on specific areas to develop my CV while at university, and now that I’m working for JP Morgan Chase & Co, I’m studying to become a Chartered Financial Analyst so that I have the qualification I need to develop my future career in Financial Services.
When you’re at school, it can be very daunting thinking about your future career, but it’s important to focus on the steps needed to get what you want. Having the right support network in place is so important, and for me, the Foundation provided that support through networking events, my bursary and the mentoring support. Applying to the Foundation programme is one of the best decisions I ever made!