Becoming a Business Leader (Blog 1)

Mitali meets Martin 15th October 2013

Being a final year student was always a daunting thought to me when I arrived back at Birmingham’s doors after my year in Industry. I had been on a whirlwind of learning and discovery; thrown into the world of business and now ready to come back and complete my degree at the University of Birmingham. As you can imagine, my head was brimming with questions on the outlook of the future. What should I consider in my career? What does it take to turn my degree into action in business? How do I achieve my dreams of becoming a business leader?

Lucky for me, the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme had given me a golden opportunity to connect with Martin Devenish, the Advisory Director of Goldman Sachs. For me this was a dream come true and for those of you who are thinking about whether to apply I cannot recommend this opportunity enough. You cannot put a price on experience and knowledge and you cannot learn it in the classroom either. I can only give you one tip – APPLY!

Our first meeting was in the newly built Bramall Music Building. After exchanging introductions and tucking into our coffees I learnt that Martin has had a very interesting and varied career. Being a fellow business student I shared many familiarities and thoroughly enjoyed the conversation on how much Birmingham campus had changed (and is still the same!!). I asked many questions around Martin’s general career path, the route to success and was fascinated by his experience at Goldman Sachs. From New York to Africa, Martin has done it all, and with the world of finance focusing heavily on the emerging markets Martin passionately shared his interests and I learnt so much about the future outlook of the global economy.

Martin asked what my goals of the programme were. I wanted to understand how to become a business leader and also to understand how I can improve my abilities. I am incredibly committed to my self-development and during the meeting Martin and I started to discuss career opportunities for the future. It is here Martin empathised, opened up about his graduate experiences and offered valuable help and advice.

Since our first meeting Martin has helped to revamp my CV, given me advice on firms and certainly improved my finance knowledge. It is incredible to know I have Martin to help if I need it and more importantly that he genuinely wants to help.



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