This Summer we helped Gatehouse Bank bring smart students into their workforce as apprentices. The process included a six-month mentoring stage for the students involved. Rohan Nathwani came into mentoring unsure about pursuing an apprenticeship or university, but working with a mentor helped him clarify his next steps after school.  We caught up with Rohan at the start of his Economics degree at the University of Bristol.

Rohan, how did your mentor help you decide your next steps after Year 13?

We discussed the avenues I could take after A-Levels and concluded that to pursue my aim of working in the financial sector in a senior position, going to a Russell Group university and studying an economics-focused course was most beneficial. Being able to consider the pros and cons of each route to achieving my career goal, working with someone in a senior position who had experience of going to university, made the process of deciding my next steps far less worrying.

How did your mentor help you define the career you wanted to pursue?

Without a mentor, I would have remained very narrow-minded about jobs in the financial sector and become more stressed not knowing what to do after university.  After watching the Big Short and Wolf of Wall Street I quite obviously told my mentor that I wanted to work in the stock markets. However, we discussed the requirements of working in those roles and I became more aware of the other jobs that existed in financial services.

What have you gained from being mentored by someone with experience in financial services?

We frequently discussed where we saw the future of the financial market going and I became aware that a strong computer-based skillset would give me an advantage over other potential employees applying for jobs, especially as the ability to code is becoming essential in this market. Having someone so interested in their job inspired me to ensure I achieved high grades in A-Levels to help me reach a senior position in my career.

How has having a senior mentor in a Bank helped you to stand out?

When a company sees a senior employee in the financial sector has mentored you they are impressed as it shows dedication and you are willing to put in the legwork to achieve your career goals.  This is of real value as the career market is particularly competitive, so having a mentor in my network gave me an edge over other people when applying for jobs.

If you want to be an apprentice or go to university, or like Rohan you’re unsure of the right path to take, the mentoring programme can help you find your ideal pathway beyond A-levels.