Chantelle works in Institutional Sales with Lazard Asset Management. She graduated in 2014 with a BA in Modern History with Economics. Here she talks to us about her career progression so far.

What are you doing now?

I work in sales. My limited understanding of sales filled me with fear to start with, its only over time have I realised that not all sales roles are made equal, and it is in fact a job that I am suited and really do enjoy.

Are you doing the same role / in the same sector? If not, why did you change roles?

I have stayed in one sector, financial services, but I have moved around within financial services. I started my career in investment banking and moved across to asset management 5 years ago. The biggest challenge has been understanding how the buy side works and challenges of clients which may be similar in principle, but in practice is very different and takes time to understand. What did you learn from your first graduate role?

What did you like / dislike about it?

Being an intern versus a full time hire is very different. It was only when I started my graduate programme did I realise the career path I was on was not for me. I liked the company culture and colleagues. However, I disliked the repetitiveness of the day job! It helped me realised I needed variety to my days.

If you could go back, would you do anything differently?

I would have explored career options in other sectors. I was so grateful that I was not going to contribute to the statistic of unemployed graduates after 6 months that I did not bother doing any further research.

What challenges, obstacles or setbacks have you faced so far in your career?

My biggest challenge is myself. I am constantly reminding myself that growth and development comes from being uncomfortable. I set measurable targets that will propel me forward and help me in my career.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to turn my weaknesses into strengths and ‘build roots’ in the industry. Though I left university a while ago, continual professional development is required to build a lasting career, the degree was just the beginning (for me).

What advice would you give to a current student who isn’t sure what to do after graduation?

The earlier that you start exploring career options the easier it will be to find a company and a role that you are aligned to. There is no expectation of recent graduates to be experts in a field they have no tangible experience, show your curiosity and aptitude to learn – that is what will help you in the long-run. Your first job following graduation does not define you. Contrary to what many companies, the media and others have said, your career path is a personal one, take time to reflect and adjust your career priorities as often as you need.

Sum up your career journey in 3 words.

Eventful yet rewarding.