School Life and Preparation for Work Life
Student Case Studies – Kaylum O’Neill and Ryan Fox at Aberdeen Asset Management
Towards the end of my 6th year at Tynecastle High school in 2016 I was considering my options, I was in the process of applying for the likes of: University courses (International Business & Marketing .Hons), College to study Business and Modern apprenticeships (including. Aberdeen Asset Management Apprenticeship). Prior to exams in school I was starting to look more into modern apprenticeships as I was uncertain if I would enjoy higher education.
When looking into Aberdeen asset Management’s apprenticeship scheme I began to think that I would be better suited in a work environment compared to a school environment. The world of financial services and investments intrigued me, especially after Aberdeen visited my school and talked deeper into the opportunity while debunking all my worries about career progression and wider opportunity’s within the company.
After doing my research into modern apprenticeships I began to apply to positions within financial services. I tailored my CV for the Aberdeen apprenticeship particularly.
After applying for the Aberdeen apprenticeship, I found out I had been successful at gaining a work experience placement as part of their recruitment process. I was overjoyed and couldn’t wait to show my enthusiasm and work hard. The work experience was paid which took off a lot of pressure for me to afford my summer holiday away with friends.
After completing my work experience I was certain I wanted to work in an office environment. I grew incredibly interested in asset management and financial services. I knew I didn’t want to go into higher education and accumulate debt. I also felt that my prospects would be worse post higher education as there is so much competition for graduate and entry level positions.
In August 2016 I received my 6th year qualifications in the post and I was pleased with my grades, however they limited my options for courses at university. By this point I was certain I wanted a modern apprenticeship at Aberdeen Asset Management as I felt I thrived in a work environment compared to school. Qualifications – 3 Highers: English, History, Business.
A day later I received a call to say I had been successful in my Aberdeen Asset Management interview. I was extremely pleased and accepted the offer for the position of apprentice.
I am currently 6 months into my apprenticeship program and I’ve not looked back since. The program has given me insight into asset management, experience within financial services as well as support to continue learning and gaining qualifications.
I enjoyed my time at school and by the end of 6th year I had applied for a variety of opportunities which were presented to me. For example, I applied for: Sociology at Edinburgh/Stirling University, Football Scholarship in US and Aberdeen Asset Management Apprenticeship.
Prior to exams in school I was all set on going to University. I had applied to do Sociology and received 2 conditional offers. Qualifications – 4 Highers (English, Modern Studies, History, PE)
Due to the fact that my offers were conditional, I decided to look at other opportunities in case I was unable to meet my conditions. At this time, Aberdeen Asset Management had visited my school and presented an opportunity to do an apprenticeship with the company.
At first I was sceptical about whether or not this would be a good thing to apply for due to a lack of knowledge on the industry. However, once I found out that 2 weeks paid work experience were offered as part of the recruitment process I realised that there was no harm in applying.
I then heard back from Aberdeen who said I had been successful in my application and gave me a date in July to complete work experience. At this stage I was pleased to know that I was going to be able to afford my summer holiday abroad with friends! Nonetheless, I was still unsure whether I could truly see this as my end destination if able to meet my university conditions.
However, once I had completed the 2 weeks work experience my views begun to shift. I was no longer as keen on the idea of studying for 4 years and the thought of accumulating debt started to put me off. Due to the fact I enjoyed my work experience so much and realised that a working environment was definitely not as intimidating as I’d imagined, this apprenticeship started to grow on me as a preferred destination.
In August 2016 I received my 6th year qualifications in the post and I was lucky enough to have met my conditions for Edinburgh/Stirling University. However, having had my final interview at Aberdeen and considered the pros and cons of both options, the only thing I was hoping for was a job offer. One day later I received a call to say I had been successful in my Aberdeen Asset Management interview. After a few days of research and discussion with parents, I accepted the job offer.
In hindsight, I am awfully glad that I chose to expand my options as much as possible as circumstances can change very quickly. Having multiple options allowed me to weigh out pros and cons and figure out what suited me best. There’s no harm in applying for things!