I recently attended Career Conversations at the University of Essex, as a way of giving back.
I was so impressed by the student’s curiosity. They wanted to learn from me and my fellow alumni, in terms of their next steps and the challenges they can expect in the real world. I recall students still asking me questions during the networking session past 9pm and this brought so much joy to my heart – just knowing how much knowledge we have based on our experience as alumni that can make a huge difference to students.
I wish I had someone back when I was at University to answer my many questions; “what do I do from here”, “what are my options” etc. Instead life has taught me.
I completed my law degree at Essex in 2010, and let’s just say life has happened since then!
I recall after graduation I had extremely high expectations – “who wouldn’t want to work with a law graduate?” I did not understand how much competition there would be and the challenges that awaited me.
I now work for a global consultancy firm as a Senior Financial Crime Consultant where I contribute towards efforts globally to minimise financial crime within the financial sector. I absolutely love my job but I’m extremely passionate about empowerment and helping others maximise their potential. I’m a go-getter – I don’t just dream big, I take big action.
To my fellow alumni, I say lets support the next generation.
Lets help make their journey easier and share our knowledge. If there is one quote I love, is that of Robert Ingersoll, “we rise by lifting others”. There’s no point allowing others to make the same mistakes you made, lets come together and change the conventional way of doing things, lets choose to help others and contribute to their success stories.
I will do it over and over again. A special shout out to the University of Essex for a fantastic initiative. Considering the turnout of students, I’m sure the students are aware the value such events can add to their journey.
And the advice I give Essex students?
Never give up on your dreams, even if the odds are against you. I wrote a professional exam in Compliance last year and wanted a distinction badly. I worked hard towards it, and not only did I get a distinction in my exam and coursework, I was also presented an award for my Outstanding Performance by the International Compliance Association.
I want you to know that there is nothing you can’t achieve. Remember you’re the CEO of your life. Focus on you, keep improving yourself and remember you are your own competition.
If opportunities don’t present themselves, create your own.
Thanks for stopping by. All the best, and see you at the TOP!
Sarah has written a book titled “The things University doesn’t teach you” which is due out soon. You can follow @vision2mission2 on Instagram and Twitter for more information.
If you’d like to get involved with volunteering at Essex, to support our current students or to talk with prospective students, either in the UK or overseas please contact Sarah Hutchings in the Alumni Relations Team.