Student Case Studies: Sam

Sam – 2nd Year BSc (Hons) Finance student 2017/18 

Careers at Lancaster University are able to offer resources that many other universities don’t. The resources and experiences available are invaluable and are there to be used, so make the most of them whilst at University

Sam’s journey to Lancaster University 

Sam grew up in a tiny village in East Lancashire. At his local high school, thinking about going to university and into a graduate level job was unusual. His family and most of his friends back then aimed for skilled practical jobs but Sam was always ambitious. He went on to the local FE College to do A levels and planned to go to university but then decided to take a year out to weigh up his options. During this time he got some work experience in both a local finance firm and a local hospital and initially decided to pursue a career in medicine before quickly realising he’d made the wrong decision and transferred to the Finance Degree in Lancaster University Management School. He knew at this point that he wanted a career in The City but hadn’t had chance to get any insights into the different types of jobs so didn’t know exactly which would suit him best.

Accessing support from Lancaster University Careers Services 

The Capital Connections Programme organised and funded by Careers in Sam’s First Year gave him the chance to experience life – and commuting by Tube – in London over a three-day stay. He was part of a group that visited a range of London-based graduate employers and met Lancaster University alumni who are now working in London. The contacts he made then with alumni working in City financial institutions have been a good source of help and have offered advice as he has gone through the intensely competitive recruitment process to get a summer internship in the London offices of one of Europe’s leading market-making investment banks.  

During his Second Year, Careers introduced Sam to UpReach who help students gain experience within The City. Since then they have arranged for him to have exclusive insight visits to several big international investment banks. These helped him work out what kind of graduate career would be best for him – as Sam says, “You don’t know what jobs are like until you’ve been there, so the experience has been invaluable”.  

The Travel2Interview bursary meant Sam has not had to worry about the costs of travel and accommodation for attending interviews and assessment centres for internships in London, and he received a Summer Work Experience Bursary that helped cover the cost of living in central London during his internship. Sam points out that the interview and work experience bursaries help to level out the playing field and open up possibilities for budget conscious students as they remove a source of stress so the student can focus on preparing for interviews and starting their internship on the same basis as all the other candidates.