My name is Bernard, I’m a 22-year-old from South-West London. I graduated in 2018 with a 2:1 in Accounting and Finance from the University of Northampton. After graduating, I had been applying for different roles within the finance sector but I was not getting past the interview stage. I felt that I had a lack of ability and experience that was hindering me when compared with the other candidates. Despite achieving a good degree, knowing that I lacked experience did not make me feel very confident when applying for entry-level and graduate jobs – I felt that employers would see it as a disadvantage.

I found out about Making The Leap through my Work Coach, who told me what a great experience it would be. Coming into it, I did not know what to expect but I was willing to give it a try due to all the positive things I’d heard. On my first day I still had mixed feelings but, as the week went on, I could really see what they were trying to achieve and I began to enjoy the whole process.

My best moment was being forced out of my comfort zone at OakNorth Bank. By stretching myself and my abilities, I learned I was able to perform under pressure. The Making The Leap Workshop builds your confidence and allows you to develop professional etiquette due to how the process is structured. Each day is different and there are several activities that you will participate in that not only test you but allow you to demonstrate skills you may not have realised you had. Personally, I developed professional skills such as strong verbal communication, and I also improved my self-confidence.

Bernard and the April Workshop Graduates

The resilience that I developed on the Workshop made me confident for the job interview that I succeeded in. I had learned so much about interpersonal skills and truly believed I was as good any other candidate, which allowed me to show my personality and attributes during the interview process. I am now working as a Trainee Business Advisor, with study support towards a professional qualification, at Richard Place Dobson. I am very optimistic for the future and aim to become a chartered accountant.

I would strongly encourage any person to give the Making The Leap Workshop a try – you will definitely take many positives out of the process. There is a lot of support and it doesn’t cost anything but a bit of your time for three weeks.

By Bernard, aged 22

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