Since I started the Through the Looking Glass programme, I have learnt that in order to succeed, not just in banking, I need to take the initiative and go out and get what I want.

Since the programme, I have thought more on where I want to go and how I am going to get there. Even though I haven’t made the decision on what I would like to be, I know that to get there I need to make the most of my time. After realising that, I started thinking about how to use my time better. I then invested my time in things that were worthwhile, like student mentoring. A big thing I want to do when I become successful is to give back and actually help others to succeed.

Through the Looking Glass made me think actually, there is no better time to start than the present – time is valuable. So, I started mentoring students from my old secondary school with a few friends on a weekly basis. I tend to just chat to them and advise them on what to do and what not to do. I also help them with any problems they have. I do this because I didn’t really have any of that when I was doing my GCSEs so I feel it may help them a great deal.
I also started to volunteer for my local borough council. Although I have only done a few days volunteering so far, I will be receiving other opportunities from the council. This really goes to show that if you put yourself out there, you will gain so many opportunities to help others.

One of my dreams is to study at a top US university. Since leaving Through the Looking Glass programme, I have taken matters into my own hands by trying to achieve my dream. I have since taken the SAT exam which is a requirement for all American universities. The US application process is so long and laborious that I questioned whether it was all worth it. But the ideas I learnt in Through the Looking Glass like being persistent and resilient really helped me push through and get everything done. I didn’t get a place at a top US university, but that doesn’t mean it was all a waste; it doesn’t mean I’m not proud of myself for having the guts to go through with it and actually have a go. I’m glad I put in the effort.

I didn’t only apply to American universities, I had my sights set on some UK universities also. Can’t have all my eggs in one basket. There was one particular university I visited, thought was pretty cool and decided to apply for. I was not selected as I didn’t have the right predicted grades. Not being selected did dishearten me but I chose to use it as motivation for my studies. I can happily say, as I am writing this now, with my grades in hand, I am extremely happy with them, extremely proud of myself and extremely grateful for the opportunity Through the Looking Glass gave me.

Now I have good grades in hand, I am calling up really good universities asking if I can attend and I can honestly say I can see how Lesley has rubbed off on me. She told us to go out there and get what we want and I’m doing it.
I wouldn’t have done any of these things if Through the Looking Glass hadn’t instilled the belief in me that I can achieve if I put my all in.