“Invest for Success has helped me explore so many different career paths that I didn’t know existed”
Joshua Oware is a sixth-form student currently studying Economics, Philosophy and Sociology A-levels at St Thomas the Apostle School and Sixth Form College. He recently took part in Invest For Success, our award-winning social mobility programme with Investec. Joshua tells all about his experience on the programme and how this has allowed him to grow his network and learn more about the investment industry.
When you first heard about the Invest for Success programme, what were your initial thoughts and why did you want to take part?
I heard about the opportunity from my sixth form who had partnered with Arrival before. They informed me that it was a prestigious programme which had a huge impact on students in previous years. Then I found out it was with Investec and it would allow me to build my professional network and widen my future career prospects. After this, I knew I had to take part.
What has been the highlight of your experience?
I think the highlight for me was discovering skills I never knew I had. One of the stocks in our portfolio had dropped its value significantly which meant my team was second from the bottom in the competition. This was really discouraging but, as a team, we came together and thought of ways to tackle this. I realised I was resilient because rather than just giving up, I was able to move past the disappointment and think of a new plan.
What did you gain most from taking part in the experience — both personally and in terms of your professional/career development?
Networking! Before this experience, I never understood how important networking was to my future success. The programme introduced us to CEOs who shared their stories with us. Hearing how they navigated their careers made me think more carefully about my career and life goals, as well as the steps I would need to take to achieve them. This experience helped me move further out of my comfort zone and I now feel more confident talking to different people regardless of their seniority.
What are your plans for the future and how has this experience influenced your plans?
I want to finish my A-levels and go to university or do a degree apprenticeship in something like business or law. I would say the programme has helped me explore the different career paths that are out there like the finance industry. I am keen to explore more areas of business. I’ve also realised that there are other, lesser-known roles that could match my skill set and interests.
Why are programmes like this important?
I think programmes like Invest For Success allow students to explore different sectors, they wouldn’t normally have access to. Most students wouldn’t know where to start getting work experience at Investec let alone gaining real-life experience of what it is like being an investment manager and trading stocks. trading. Also, we get to meet people we wouldn’t normally, like CEO’s of big investment banks and business directors.
What advice would you give to students and potential businesses thinking of taking part in the experience?
To students; I would say be ready to experience new things and make changes. You might discover new interests and skills you never knew you had.
For businesses; I would say be accepting of different types of people, as you may not get a group of people with the same skills, but you will get a group of people who are enthusiastic and willing to learn.
I would say to both students and businesses; be open to this experience and you will gain so much from it.