From investment banker to Now Teach trainee
Cohort: September 2018
Where: Heathland School
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.
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.