Lucy Drummond from Belfast Metropolitan College graduated the Career Ready programme in 2017. Here, she shares how it transformed her education and helped her secure a role at Citi.

At the age of seven, I was diagnosed as dyslexic, dyspraxic and dyscalculic which I guess is a little different to most people’s experience of growing up.

I really struggled at secondary school and wasn’t sure what my options were going to be when I left.

It wasn’t my school’s fault, I just don’t think they understood how they could support me.

When I started at Belfast Metropolitan College, I had no idea what I could achieve. My GCSE results hadn’t been great and it really affected by confidence and made me question my future. I didn’t think university was an option and I certainly didn’t think I’d ever work in a big company. Career Ready changed all of that.

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A lecturer at college introduced me to the Career Ready programme and the internship opportunity really stood out to me. Business was never a route I intended to go down, but I wanted that real-world experience and thought it might help me decide what I wanted to do in the future.

The Career Ready programme went way above anything I had expected. I did a lot of workshops, team building with the other students, industry talks, things you just don’t get in school. Then there was the internship at Citi which was incredible. It was my first time earning real money in a real role, to be working in such a big company at that age felt crazy. And it makes you understand the college classes that you’re in a lot more as you actually have wider knowledge and skills.

The whole experience transformed my confidence. It taught me to believe in myself and push myself to do things I thought I couldn’t achieve.

I’m now at university in Derry and in my placement year I was brought back to Citi for a six-week placement as a Securities Analyst. I’m now in the final year and I’ve just secured a place on the Citi graduate scheme for when I finish. It’s all bit of a dream when I think back to where I was a few years ago.  

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