Wealth of opportunities on the horizon for Erin and Abbey
Deciding on a career after leaving school can be a stressful and daunting task, but two students may have finally found what they are looking for in the highly competitive world of investment management.
Such a path, however, had seemed unlikely for S6 students Abbey Aitken and Erin Robb, who had originally planned on pursuing careers in law and teaching respectively. And, until now, neither of the girls, who study at Preston Lodge High School in Prestonpans, had any previous knowledge or interest in asset management or finance.
After taking part in programmes supported by Future Asset and women from the asset management sector who volunteered their time, the ambitious pair are now exploring how to incorporate finance in their studies and future career options.
Both girls were successful in gaining places in a work experience scheme in June. Supported by their school, they spent a week gaining further insights and learned about investment management, financial planning, compliance and marketing. They also performed a mock interview and a team pitch on a company.
Erin Robb admits she knew relatively little about investment until she went to the Future Asset Roadshow in November 2018. There she met with women who work in the sector and took part in a Dragons’ Den activity in which girls had to decide in which of three companies they should invest their imaginary clients’ savings.
Encouraged by her experience, Erin is now considering a degree in history and economics. She said: “I would never have applied for work experience in asset management had I not taken part in Future Asset. I would definitely encourage other girls to take part and find out more, even if they have never thought the finance world was for them. It’s so much broader than you think and there are great opportunities for people with lots of different skills and interests and from different backgrounds.”
Abbey Aitken had been intent on pursuing a career in law when her head teacher stopped her in the corridor one day to tell her about an opportunity he thought she would be good at – working with the Future Asset team to develop their investment board game.
In the game students work together as a team to manage an imaginary £100 million portfolio for a pension fund. She said: “It was a brilliant experience and the board game was just fantastic at getting us into it and explaining what asset management is about.” Abbey is still keen to pursue a career in law, but adds: “I might add business to the mix. People think that law is just about working in courts, but there are so many opportunities for lawyers in business and investment.
“I know I’m capable of doing either – or both if I want.”