Rosie Wainwright, from Lewisham College, graduated from the Career Ready programme in 2012. Here, she shares how her mentor and paid internship at Morgan Stanley helped her develop the skills, confidence and experience to kickstart a rewarding future. 

At seventeen years old I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had no goals, no ambitions, barely any GCSE’s and I had just started a third college in the same year. It wasn’t until I started the Career Ready programme that my eyes were opened to opportunities that I never knew existed. In 2012 I took part in a six-week internship working in the Corporate Services department at Morgan Stanley. It wasn’t the job itself that opened up my eyes, it was the location, the commute, the people, the conversations that I had that guided me in the right direction.

The level of trust that I was given to work on tasks gave me the confidence that I could one day work in a place like Morgan Stanley. 

From the very start at the interview stage, I was interviewed by a man named George Holmann. I asked him how he got to where he is today and what he needed to do to get there. One thing we spoke about was having a degree, and even though his background was the complete opposite to mine as his parents pushed him to study Law, he said the fact that he had this qualification was the foot in the door to his career. I did not work directly with George as he worked in another department, but we stayed in contact through email and social media platforms and he continued to help me with job applications even after my internship had ended. He was the person who planted the seed for studying at university level, he is part of the reason that after my internship I went back and re-took my GCSE maths, passed it and went on to study Law at City University.

My lead contact during my internship was a woman named Lisa Sparks, she was brilliant. It wasn’t easy working during this particular time in my life as I had just turned 18 and was moving out of my foster home, I had to find a place of my own and had to attend last minute viewings, but she was very understanding. The level of trust that I was given to work on tasks gave me the confidence that I could one day work in a place just like this. I wasn’t making cups of tea or doing random work that would never be used, I was utilised to my full ability and took part in work that mattered to the company. I spent my time rotating amongst different teams to get a broad understanding of how an investment bank operated, every day was different, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would recommend any young person to take part in an experience like this, and any company to give young people this opportunity as you never know what impact you can have on a young person.

I have now finished my university education and graduated with a degree in Law. After graduation, I took part in an internship in NYC as a Compliance Officer at an Asset Management firm. I now work as a Strategy Support Officer at City University, whilst studying for my Masters part-time and I’m excited for what more the future holds. 

Learn more about how we help young people like Rosie to kickstart rewarding futures, or get involved and make a lasting difference.