I work as a marketing executive in the travel industry. When I was unable to work due to the pandemic, I thought I should use this time as an opportunity to get qualified in areas that interested me, to advance beyond my self-taught career in marketing. Having for years been dabbling with a portfolio of various equities and commodities, I finally decided to use the financial backing of furlough and the sudden deluge of free time to advance an academic career in finance and business.
I didn’t have enough UCAS points from college to get onto the course I wanted to study at university, and I wanted to get a foundation of knowledge as well in the subject before I started at a higher education level. I had a look on Google for business courses local to me, but nothing near or good came up, or fitted within the time frame I projected I had until the travel market began operating again and I would be required to return to work. As I had already studied at Farnborough for my college courses, I thought I’d look at the Access courses available and realised an Access course was just what I needed!
My Access course gave me the academic foundational knowledge to go forward with HE, learning new systems and the interconnectedness of the world through the social science of economics. I wasn’t expecting the psychology aspect of the course, however, though it was an extra that I didn’t anticipate, it proved to be so beneficial. It helped me to work with and understand myself and others much better. For example, I presented the idea of starting a hedge fund as a subsidiary at my firm, but in order to sell that idea I had to understand the psychology of the shareholders. What I had learnt on the Access course really prepared me to do this by appealing to their emotional side as well as fulfilling their logical and financial side.
I found Farnborough to be a lot more relaxed than other institutions. You can share ideas with your lecturers and they become more of your companions than superiors. You can also converse freely with one another allowing a kind of liberalisation between you and them to find assurance that you’re grasping the concepts taught properly. It’s that connection that you wouldn’t get at a bigger college or university. The college itself is refurbished, it’s clean, and it has Costa coffee when you need to grab a drink. It really has everything you need to excel in- whatever you choose to do.
While I was at the college, my teacher said they were very impressed with my work and the ideas I shared in class. They therefore wanted to nominate me for the ‘Excellence Award Certificate of Recognition’ for the ‘Outstanding Academic Achievement Prize’. It was great to be nominated and have my teachers acknowledge the work I had been doing on the course.
I’m now going on to study Economics, Finance and Banking at Portsmouth University. I’d like to start my own fund/holding company. We’re given an entrepreneurial space as part of my university course, so this will really help me to reach my goals in the future, especially since I already run and manage my own personal portfolio. Alternatively, once I’ve finished, my goal would be to work my way into investment banking at a company like JP Morgan Chase & Co or Goldman Sachs as either an Investment Banker or a Financial/Business Analyst.
My advice to anyone looking to start a course would be to work backwards; some people on my course were still undecided about what they wanted to do after their course, whereas I knew what I wanted to go into from the start. Figure out where you want to be in 10 years, find the best higher education path to get you to that position and then find the perfect college course at Farnborough to start you on that roadmap to success.