I was one of the original 12 students who participated in the inaugural Through the Looking Glass programme in London in 2012. This programme was pivotal in enabling me to discover my passion for finance. By the end of the week’s programme, I decided that the world of finance was the profession in which my future lay and where I wanted to build my career.

The programme provided me with a fantastic opportunity to meet many companies in a number of different fields; all experiences which have inspired me to pursue a career within the City. Prior to participating on the programme, I had aspirations of working in manual labour, specifically as a mechanic. This was due to my background of growing up in a family where manual labour was the go to profession – before me, no one in my family had gone onto higher education. I was therefore naïve to the fact that there are many other interesting opportunities within the City that exist and that if I worked really hard and dedicated myself to getting the best education possible, I too could have a great life and build a fulfilling career.

I am currently at university in my final year studying Accounting & Finance and hope to graduate with either a high 2.1 or a first. My participation on Through the Looking Glass Charity was instrumental in helping me to discover my passion for finance and to encourage me to go onto higher education. The programme helped me to understand how useful a degree in finance could be in any aspect of the City, as well as giving me the courage to believe in myself and apply for one of the most well-respected universities in the world – part of the renowned Russell Group. On top of this I have completed Bloomberg’s market concept course and have been awarded a certificate for my work. This is due to Lesley’s encouragement regarding extra-curricular activities outside of education. On top of this, I plan to do charity work abroad once I have graduated. I feel this experience will be life changing and will only increase my appreciation for life and how grateful I am for what I have. I hope to continue striving for greatness and one day inspire my siblings to also follow their dreams no matter what obstacles they may face in their journey.