Just like all kids, I changed my mind every day about what I was going to be when I grew up. I wanted to be a vet from a young age, until my parents took it upon themselves to explain the harsh realities of what was actually involved in the job. So I decided soon after that I wanted be a dentist instead.
As I grew up, my career aspirations always changed but I was always intrigued by anything that involved science.
I studied Forensic Science in college with all good intentions to go on and pursue a career within the field. As the course went on, I found myself more interested in the crime scene investigation work as well as what went on behind the scenes in the labs.
When the work experience module came around, I decided to look for work with a local funeral director.During this experience, I found myself carrying out a whole array of tasks from putting the coffins together all the way to preparing the bodies for the funeral. Although, the experience was brilliant and I had learned a lot, it had opened my eyes to the reality of being in the front line of forensics and I realised that perhaps I wasn't quite as thick skinned as I first thought.
I then took a gap year and went on to be a waitress to get some money saved up, whilst deciding where to go and what to do next.
My year out had given me a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do with my future and my career. My dad had mentioned Nationwide to me a few times, having heard about the great career opportunities and just how good the company was to work for.
So, I initially started looking for call centre jobs, just as a way to get my foot in the door and I just happened to stumble upon the apprentice vacancies. This was perfect as it was an opportunity to earn whilst learning. The idea of working in the corporate world did put me off a little to start with and I was worried that I would be completely out of my depth as I had no background in financial services.
I always had the impression that the corporate world was quite cold. But that just isn't the case; I feel that people genuinely care about you here at Nationwide.
I have a great work/life balance. My role allows me to be committed to my job and my career but it also allows for a life outside of the office, which is so important! I get every evening and weekend free to spend time with my friends and family.
Even though I'm not in a traditional STEM carer, I still use a lot of the skills I learnt whilst studying STEM. I have learnt great transferrable skills such as methodological thinking, research and analytical skills as well as attention to detail. I still apply these skills in my day to day tasks at work.
If I could go back the advice I'd give to myself is: Do what you love.
Life is honestly too short to settle for something that doesn't interest you or you're not passionate about. You don't need to worry about what others think about your choices or about finding a job to just pay the bills.
Make your career a constantly evolving string of experiences, ask questions and continue learning.
Take a look at what roles we have available for school leavers here