To me, ambition is telling yourself anything is possible and ignoring your self-doubt to provide yourself with the confidence to achieve.
When studying BSc Business Administration (now BSc Business), I had a corporate finance lecturer, who piqued my interest in finance. Before these initial seminars, I had little understanding of corporate finance/banking, so hearing about the notion of a trading floor blew my mind. After a spring internship on a trading floor at a Japanese bank, I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my career.
As a student, I had a few mentors. A family friend worked in finance, and I exhausted his personal contact list to learn about all aspects of the financial world.
I must have gone for a dozen coffees with several people and one of them stuck - a portfolio manager in London. Since that day I've had two mentors in finance guiding me through every up and down involved in a career in sales and trading. Now, we’re more close friends than a mentor/mentee relationship.
'Since leaving Bath, I’ve been passionate about giving back to the School'
My mentors were very good at forcing me to think outside the box. I got involved in the student investment club, started running with some trade ideas and put my money, albeit not a lot, into these ideas to pitch to investors.
It's amazing how influential they were in showing me the landscape, answering hard questions and being there for hard times professionally.
After graduating from the School of Management, I was accepted onto a postgraduate placement in New York. On the programme, I had to apply to work for several different organisations, and after numerous interviews, I got a placement at Citi. Over the past eight years, I have worked my way up to now hold the position of Vice President in the FX Sales Division, based in London.
Since leaving Bath, I’ve been passionate about giving back to the School, to say thanks for all the amazing opportunities they’ve given me. I decided mentoring was the perfect way to do this and now regularly mentor students on the Bath MBA.
My mentees always ask me ‘What else can I be doing?’. I advise them to get involved in as much as possible. Everything has something to offer, and you don't know what that is until you try.
'Mentoring is an amazing opportunity to speak to students who are passionate about what they’re doing'
I love mentoring because not only are the students getting something from it, but it’s an amazing opportunity to speak to students who are passionate about what they’re doing. They know about the latest innovations and thought leadership in industry.
Citi encourages thought leadership, and mentoring has forced me to think differently and reframe the problems I'm looking at in the business.
Apart from this, mentoring offers students an impartial ally to voice how they’re feeling, from a professional and personal perspective. Having that gives the mentee a lot of head space and more clarity going forward, which is a really rewarding feeling.
If you're thinking about mentoring, I encourage you to do it. It's a real feel-good environment, you feel as if you’re really helping.