Looking back and thinking forward (Blog 3)

March

Since my last meeting with Yogi I had acted on the advice he had given me including updating my CV, reading the two books and buying a new tie. I had also accepted a job at Towers Watson where I did a summer internship last July. Although I received the offer before coming onto the mentoring scheme, it wasn’t something I wanted to go into at the time. Investment had always been more appealing to me than actuarial (the line of work I had been offered), and so I had postponed signing the contract in the hope I could secure a job in my ideal industry. However after applying to job after job, before and after our last meeting, being rejected hours after my applications were sent off, I realised I had taken the job offer from Towers Watson a little for granted. I think I had also been a bit apprehensive about confirming a job as it is such a big change from University life and so rather than not accepting it because it wasn’t something I wanted to do, I was maybe just scared about setting my future in stone.

 

Although I had a confirmed graduate job, I still wanted to make use of Yogi’s experience both in his career and generally in life. I therefore went down to London again (this time to a restaurant in Gerrards cross where his office is based) to have another meeting.

As I mentioned in the last blog, I felt a bit annoyed with myself for not asking the questions I wanted to ask in our meeting in December. I therefore wanted to make sure I had the confidence to speak up in this meeting and change the course of conversation if I felt it wasn’t beneficial.  In the end, the meeting was a great success. It seemed more informal than our previous meetings, and although I learnt a lot, we still managed to have a bit of a laugh.

Here’s a list of questions and answers I asked throughout the meeting: Why do an MBA?

– Change from work, want to do something different, opens many doors and provides a completely new experience. After speaking to Yogi about this, it’s made me want to do an MBA in a few years time, something I hadn’t even considered before coming onto the mentoring scheme.

When did you decide on a career in Investment?

– Yogi’s answer surprised me for this. He told me that it was at business school (8/9 years after graduating from Birmingham) when he got invited to an interview with Goldman Sachs when it was something he started considering (Yogi hadn’t heard of Goldman Sachs before this yet left as an executive director 10 years later). This was quite a nice thought to me in that a graduate job wasn’t the only way of making it into the industry.

What are your biggest regrets from your career?

– Not spending enough time with friends and family. You’re not going to remember the number crunching/spreadsheet sifting of work later in life, but good times with friends and family will always be there.

Why leave Goldman Sachs and set up a business?

– Preferred a long term outlook on business. Wanted something of his own. Was in a position where if it failed, he could go back to a bank for work.

What tips do you have on building confidence?

– Put yourself in as many situations as possible. Don’t worry too much if things don’t go as well as you hoped. Try to think that you are putting yourself out there when other people aren’t.

A few other things we talked about:

– Don’t spend too much time in one career – try to move careers every 5 years with a maximum of 10 years in any one job.

– We discussed the main roles of an investment bank.

– Recommended to read ‘outliers’ and ‘bounce’.

– That the most successful people in the world are thought to have one common trait – they are incredibly hard working.

This will probably be the last time me and Yogi arrange to meet as part of the mentoring scheme, however we are going to keep in touch in the future.

Overall, it’s been a really good experience. It’s completely different to anything I have done before, I feel my confidence has grown and I have learnt a great deal. Although I didn’t act how I would have hoped at the start of the relationship, I was happy how things turned out and it shows to be persistent and not give up.

I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor, Yogi’s been really helpful throughout and I look forward to keeping in touch in the future.

All the best for those thinking of applying to the scheme, I would definitely recommend it.

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