Having maintained the desire to work in corporate finance within investment banking, I am aware of the significant level of competition in the graduate market. Therefore, in the summer of 2019, I began researching ways in which I could develop my personal skills to become the best version of myself. I soon became aware of the TARGETjobs Future CFO, Undergraduate of The Year award and entered it in the hope of it helping me stand out from other graduates I’d be competing against in the near future.

The initial application involved writing a short essay regarding what insights I would share if given the opportunity to spend a day with the CFO of a FTSE100 company. After sending off my application, I was invited to undertake four psychometric tests numerical reasoning, inductive reasoning, situational judgement and OPQ. As someone who likes working under pressure and to tight time constraints, I found this stage of the process quite enjoyable. I was then tasked with thinking creatively to devise a two-minute presentation on the topic of business decision making and the ACCA’s role in developing the financial profession. Having presented in front of hundreds of individuals previously for my start-up business (Pursire), I was fairly used to this. However, I most certainly encountered a few challenges along the way.

The next communication from TARGETjobs was a congratulation email, informing me that I had been selected as one of 20 students invited to an assessment day. Due to the unprecedented circumstances surrounding Covid-19, we were asked to participate in a virtual task, which I found enjoyable and insightful. I was also fortunate enough to meet and interact with candidates of an extremely high calibre, which was a great learning experience. Lastly, I had to create a five-minute presentation to pitch in front of the financial investment committee of Enterprise-Rent-A-Car. Throughout my presentation, I focused on and outlined the need for investment into a collaborative workplace to overcome the obstacles presented by Covid-19. A few weeks later, I was fortunate enough to have been selected as one of 10 finalists to attend the awards ceremony celebrating the finalists and revealing the winners. Overall, the application process was extremely challenging, but such a great learning experience!

I would most definitely encourage as many people as possible to apply for this award since the benefits of doing so are completely unmatched. I believe I have grown so much from when I first applied and truly consider this a victory in itself!

In the near future, I aspire to undertake a corporate finance summer internship within investment banking and eventually secure a role after graduating. Should I be fortunate enough to do so, I maintain the desire to become one of the most prominent figures in finance.

Overall, my goal is to achieve success to the point where I can effectively inspire others and promote social mobility. Having come from a lower socio-economic background myself, I have seen my peers suffer from a lack of direction and inspiring role models, which has led to a wastage of their potential. Therefore, I hope to assist others in achieving their goals throughout my journey.