I’m 45 and went through my full education in Elgin, New Elgin Primary and Elgin High School. On approaching 6th year, I was undecided about my future. However, I was accepted into university and planned a career in hospitality management.
A friend of my parents then mentioned that Clydesdale Bank were looking for a Junior to join the organisation. I applied and never made it to university!
Starting in Clydesdale Bank in Fochabers in 1992. I then worked my way through all branch roles and became a Financial Adviser. At the age of 23, I was covering Speyside and Elgin and the youngest staff member working in the bank.
I then moved onto managing advisers from Forres to Shetland for a year in 2000.
My next step moved me to Edinburgh to manage a team of 10 Financial Advisers. I came across many challenges and its fair to say an environment that brought much learning.
Many roles followed, working for NAB in Edinburgh, Belfast and Glasgow.
In 2005, I then made the move to Santander and I now manage the East Scotland Branch Network which spreads from Berwick to Shetland!
I’ve been lucky to survive many restructures but along the way managed to pick up Mortgage, Financial Planning and Management Qualifications.
The most important parts of my role though is managing to anticipate change and quickly adapt, also listening to colleagues and helping them be the best they can. That’s where the reward comes! It’s clear that a future in financial services will demand adaptability and varied skills but I’d highly recommend it. I enjoy my role most days, looking after 183 people gives some challenges but many rewards.
My only advice is you have to enjoy what you do, otherwise pursue something else. And for all school leavers, with hard work and drive you’ll progress. A university education is not for all, you have many options!