This months blog is written by a student we met at our PP: Finance event back in April this this year. Michael Truckle shows us how perseverance, tenacity and not giving up can lead you to finding open doors everywhere you look! Well done Michael and thank you for sharing your story. We hope this will inspire other students in your position…
I’m writing this to help you get placements in the firms you want without having to rely on who your parents know, how much money your family have or even what your school grades are! Yes, it’s true that I have found a way so please read on as I will outline exactly how I did it…
I would like to quickly set the scene at February 2016 where I had been rejected many, many times. HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Lloyd’s of London, Nomura, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, London School of Economics, JP Morgan, Blackberry, EE, Three, Vodafone and many more were on the list of companies that had turned me down. I have no family in any kind of banking and, with these rejections, I often doubted as to whether it would be possible to reach my future ambitions.
I had one option: I had to find the people who were in the jobs which I want. How did I do that as I knew no-one? I found people. Simple.
I decided that I was sick and tired of being rejected and that the old saying ‘it’s who you know, not what you know’ must be true to some extent. This was a crucial testing point – I had to decide to whether I would give up entirely, like most people would, or push through adversity. I have had LinkedIn since I was 16 but I never used it much; however, I made the decision to add everyone I knew on it. I added all my friends and family, and then I looked up my friends’ family and my family’s friends to expand my network even more so. I then made myself a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound) target: to message 30 people a week. Whether I knew them or not didn’t matter but as long as I was learning and improving, I didn’t see myself doing any wrong. After a few replies and some great conversations, I expanded my theory.
So I took ‘Michael’s theory’ everywhere with me. The bus, train, tube, you name it. I simply made friendly conversation to as many people as I could and eventually, at the end of the journey, asked if they’d like to stay in touch. There were many rejections but the saying that ‘you have to roll with the punches’ couldn’t be more true. I’ll cut to the chase, the short answer is that I managed 5 out of my 6 placements this summer from networking. Those places such a Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and Lloyd’s of London, which had rejected me, were about to see something which very rarely happens. Of course, the best feeling is when you get to be in touch with the person who rejects you and you show them just how much rejection, public embarrassment and determination it has taken for me to be telling them this story.
Networking, in my opinion, is by far the most important skill an individual can have when trying to start their career. By using my strategy and capability, which I believe everyone has in them, I have been able to talk to people from The Government, The Apprentice and even Dragon’s Den to name a few. I promise you this, you can achieve anything you want you just have to make sure you don’t let failure stop you.
Finally, if you’ve made it this far I’m extremely thankful! If you would like to hear more about how I approached, communicated and built up a rapport with professionals as well as join me on the ever-present fight into banking and insurance then please feel free to add me on LinkedIn: Michael Truckle or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If I can leave one last thing it’s this – we all get upset and even angry when we fail or receive bad news. In the true words of Frank Sinatra, ‘The best form of revenge is success’ and there is no better feeling than getting what you truly want and deserve as well as showing everyone around you just how far you’re willing and able to go. I believe in you and if I can help your journey into your dream career then please get in contact.