| Case Studies

From investment banker to Now Teach trainee

Cohort: September 2018
Where: Heathland School
Subject: Maths

I began my career at Price Waterhouse’s London office in August 1995 and spent three years developing my skills firstly in audit and then in transaction support services. I qualified in 1998 and have been a member of the ICAEW ever since. In early 1999 I made the decision to move in to investment banking, joining Schroders Investment Banking (later Citigroup). My job took me all over the world; in 2005, I moved to Russia to work for Renaissance Capital, a Moscow-based investment bank, where I worked on IPOs, M&A and then private equity investment until 2011. My career in finance continued to progress, and I moved into a Russian investment company, Sistema plc, where I ran corporate finance.

It’s a humbling experience after a 20-year career

The decision to change

In 2015, I decided to return to the UK from Russia and resigned from Sistema so that my wife and I would have the time to move, start a family and get settled.  It was during this move and after my daughter was born that I started thinking about alternative careers to finance.  Around this time, I came across Lucy Kellaway’s article in the Financial Times where she announced her plans to move from her comfortable life of an FT columnist to start as a trainee teacher at the age of 58. Her ideas about doing something concrete and useful caught me – and clearly others as well – and I joined the first ever cohort of Now Teachers, totaling 47 career changers. The majority of us teach a shortage subject such as Maths or Science – I chose to teach Maths.

I had looked into the programme and seen that Now Teach partnered with Ark Teacher Training and together they provide a very high quality teacher training programme.  On top of that, you are connected with other experienced professionals who have also decided to make the transition into teaching, giving you a ready-made peer support network.

You are connected with other experienced professionals who have also decided to make the transition into teaching, giving you a ready-made peer support network.

Helping kids open up their opportunities

I’ve been teaching for over a year now, and whilst I’m still getting to grips with my new role, I know that as my confidence grows, I going to be able to talk to my pupils about my experience outside teaching and my previous career. I hope that it provides them with perspectives on careers and their own futures that they don’t always have opportunities to consider and learn about.

Starting again

If you are considering career-changing and are looking at teaching, then you should definitely go into as many schools as you can to see if you can picture yourself standing in front of a class of 30 children.  It’s a humbling experience after a 20-year career to find yourself unable to control a classroom. You need to be prepared for a very tough apprenticeship.  Now, I’m loving it now, I feel much more equipped even just four terms in and am so pleased I made the change and gave it a go.

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