Before joining Making The Leap, I graduated with a First-Class Honours Degree in Banking and Finance from Middlesex University back in 2015. I was fortunate to find a job in a bank for 6 months, where I managed to network into a hedge fund. Where I learnt a lot about the financial markets industry and gained lots of exposure which was lots of fun! But for several reasons, mainly internal structural changes, I ultimately left. After leaving, at that time, it was challenging to find other roles, and from my research, I heard MTL organised industry visits and worked on soft skills. In my case, interviews were plentiful, but I could not seem to secure a role. I figured it was a no brainer to see if my soft skills to be improved while going for the industry visits.
In my opinion, one of the biggest highlights of the workshop was the sense of community among the fellows where, despite our very different backgrounds, everyone motivated each other. I met Gareth and Jamal, and frankly, I was initially concerned about what I would gain from Making The Leap as I would have, at the time, considered myself a strong candidate; and my issue was I was looking to apply for jobs in a fiercely competitive industry (front-office financial markets). However, I was pleasantly surprised. I did find areas to improve, including having a better CV which yielded better results!
I also had the opportunity to meet mentors and volunteers that helped me get to the final stages of interviews, and ultimately secure a role in the Finance Industry. I was starting to think this was impossible. With the confidence I gained during my time in MTL, I then was able to partner with a friend and found my own Finance Services business. Alongside this, I worked for a Financial Research firm, namely Equity Research – and I am grateful to say that I got promoted recently.
Had I not attended the workshop, I honestly do not think I would be where I am today. I learnt to believe in my abilities, and I did this with the support I got from people – Fellows and staff alike. I now get to liaise with some of the most interesting and largest companies in the Global Stock Exchanges (some of which are very well known) and look at the Global Macro Dynamics in the Financial Markets, using my own business. While at times, it feels like I have no time; I genuinely love what I do. One skill I have always prided myself on is time management— a vital job-hack which I aim to write about soon.
In the future, I see myself doing what I am doing on a higher level once I have completed the professional qualifications I have started. And I expect my business to have expanded—of course, depending on the level of expansion and the timelines, I will need to make a choice. But I won’t give too much away! I also hope to help Social Mobility Charities like MTL and help other charities that seek to support causes I am passionate about, such as mental health.
I honestly cannot stress how much confidence MTL has helped me to develop, even if it were just confirmation that I could tackle an extremely competitive industry. The culture at MTL is incredibly supportive, especially if you don’t have someone to lean on for career advice or anyone who can hold you to account. What is even better is that you are part of this community for life. Having an honest think about it, that peace of mind is what helped me achieved so much so far and will help me carry on performing.
I would tell any young people to give MTL a chance, even if you believe you are a strong candidate. If you think there is any room for improvement, MTL will meet and exceed your expectations.
My journey was not a comfortable one. It was one of the most ego-bruising and earthshattering- you get the picture. But getting out of your comfort zone and not getting bogged down by rejections are crucial tenants of getting by these situations, especially if you want competitive jobs. These are two criminally underrated traits. Once you finish the workshop, you will feel better equipped with these traits. I felt that way, and I am sure my peers in the workshop felt that way too.
In a time where we are all locked down and mostly isolated, I see no better time for having the support of a like-minded group of people that want to elevate themselves – MTL is where you will find this!