Broadening Horizons: Martin's Story

When Martin signed up as a coach on the Future

Frontiers programme, he was looking for an

opportunity to provide a young person with the

career knowledge and insight that they might lack in

their own familial or social circles.


Not only did the programme give him the chance to

do just that, but it also gave Martin himself insight

into the challenges faced by many young people

from disadvantaged backgrounds when progressing

beyond school.


Martin’s pupil, Jack, came to the sessions with two career aspirations: Finance and Psychology. However, he didn’t have the knowledge and information he needed to decide which of these would be right for him to pursue after school.


One thing he did know was that he didn’t want to go to university and instead was seeking opportunities that would allow him to access a successful career via a training programme or an apprenticeship.


“We looked at the different career paths that aligned with his broader aspirations and possible pathways to get to these,” Martin explained.


“It became obvious fairly early on that he wouldn’t be able to work as a Psychologist without attending university.”


Through their conversations, Martin was able to help Jack come to the decision that he wanted to pursue a career in accountancy. Luckily for Jack, as an accountant himself, Martin had plenty of knowledge about this career and was able to answer a wealth of questions about the sector as a whole and specific jobs within it.


“Our interests were aligned – Jack is very analytical and mathematically minded, and we had a good rapport. I think this really helped and meant that we could have very productive discussions, so the sessions were really successful.”


Jack was particularly interested to find out more about the different routes he could take to get into accountancy and keen to learn about the less traditional pathways available.


Martin used his network of colleagues and contacts to connect Jack with an accountant who hadn’t gone to university so that Jack could hear a different perspective.


“That definitely piqued his interest and helped him become clear about the pathway he wants to take now to get into accountancy.”


“He is very keen to apply to an apprenticeship scheme with the Big Four and I really think that that decision was helped by his interaction with my colleague who has progressed through a similar route.”


"It definitely broadened my horizons in the regard that it helped me realise the viewpoint of somebody who doesn’t want to go to university."

For Martin, the experience developed his awareness of those who come from different backgrounds and therefore have different priorities when making important life choices.


“It definitely broadened my horizons in the regard that it helped me realise the viewpoint of somebody who doesn’t want to go to university. I would say that sometimes it can be slightly frowned upon in the industry not to go down the university route, but meeting Jack has opened my eyes to the reasons a young person might have for not choosing this traditional route.”


“It made me think more about how they might struggle to access certain education opportunities for certain reasons, and I am now aware that there is a need in our sector to start looking at things from a different perspective.”


“I was so impressed by Jack, just by his self-motivation - his level of confidence was something that I didn't expect. I could see that he valued the experience and that’s what I set out to

do – to give a young person the insight and context they might not have in their own familial or social circles.”


“I found it hugely rewarding to be able to do that. It was a really positive experience from my perspective, and I would definitely do it again.”


"I could see that he valued the experience and that’s what I set out to do – to give a young person the insight and context they might not have in their own familial or social circles.”


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