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Mollie’s story

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Numbers piqued Mollie’s interest from a young age, despite coming from a family of artists. But she later discovered that a career in finance didn’t have to mean she never got to stretch her own creative muscles.

This is Mollie’s story:

“I knew I wanted to do maths from quite a young age; I had always been interested in the logical, factual element of numbers despite growing up in an artistic family. A career in finance offered me the opportunity to make a good, stable wage while also having an intellectually stimulating job – the best of both worlds!

I didn’t entirely know what I wanted to do though, while I was at university. I studied maths at the University of Bristol, but it was a chance meeting at a careers fair that set me on my path. I joined Mercer shortly after graduating, taking more exams to specialise in investments, which allowed me to indulge in the scientific, theoretical side of finance – a side that I really enjoy.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had the opportunity to be creative too. The idea that finance professionals sit around staring at spreadsheets all day is a myth, possibly of days gone by. Soft skills are incredibly important and investment professionals are also relationship managers, writers, marketeers, spokespeople and salespeople. It’s a truly multi-faceted job. And one that I think would really suit more women than are entering the sector. There is a job to be done to attract more women, and young people generally, into the industry and that starts with a rebranding exercise to freshen up our image.

And, we deserve a bit of a makeover, because the finance sector is actually full of really lovely people who are very open to supporting those with an interest in pursuing a career in the industry. As well as networking groups and advice forums – some of which are specialised – many individuals are more than happy to give their personal time to chat to the next generation. I’d encourage any young person looking to get a foot in the door to do their research – the internet and online networking is a fantastic source of information to understand what’s really involved in different financial roles – and reach out. Don’t take rejections personally – those are going to happen – and keep going. It only takes one inspiring conversation to set you on the right path.”