Our commercial director Jo Marshall talks about her experience of exam results and offers advice to students who might be feeling the strain.
Like many others, I found exam results a very stressful time. I was in the last school year to take O-levels and CSEs as they were known then. Not only that, I’d just moved from Ireland to the UK so had to cram in two years’ worth of work into one, as I had a whole different curriculum to get my head around.
I didn’t have very high hopes or expectations for my results as I wasn’t planning on doing anything else apart from getting straight into work. University was never a consideration for me as I really wanted to get into work and start earning money. Saying that, I did pass all my exams which of course I was pretty happy about.
I started my first full time job just before my 16th birthday working in a bank, having already held several part time jobs. I’ve always been very driven and focused and knew that hard work would eventually pay off - and it did! I’m also ambitious and knew that I wanted to be successful in whatever role I had – I kept that in mind throughout the course of my career.
Everyone has different personal experiences and I’m pleased to say that I’m happy with mine - but it definitely requires hard work and determination.
Do what you enjoy and what you’re good at, and think about roles in that particular field and how you can get into them. Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom and always look for a mentor and be willing to learn. Keep striving to be the best and make sure you’re always willing to try new things and take risks.
I don’t think that a degree or qualification defines you, but I do understand the pressures of aiming high and wanting to do well. Now the exams are over, and you’ve done your best, strive to do what you enjoy and kept focused on that. Believe in your own abilities!